Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The fossil tree of Mull.

Approaching the Wilderness coast of Mull from Staffa, we landed at a natural recess in the rocks.

The Mull volcanic eruption of 50 million years ago did not just spill out over a barren landscape, it buried a land of verdant forests. At the back of the beach, to the left of distorted basalt columns, you can see the vertical impression of a tree trunk that managed to stay upright after it was engulfed by lava.

When it was first discovered by McCulloch, there was still a charcoal like deposit round the trunk where the bark had been. Despite its inaccessibility on foot, this has been hacked away by souvenir hunters who have since started chipping away the remains of the rocky stump. It has now been capped with concrete.