Stone Mountain in Georgia is almost 1700 feet tall, twice as high as the surrounding area. It is made primarily of granite formed from magma that came up from deep in the earth’s molten center. It is a rock version of an iceberg, in some spots going 9 miles deep. Apparently it had a series of failed attempts at complete eruption so geologists still debate its current appearance, which may be the result of erosion, flooding, or earthquakes carving out the surrounding area.
Over time, the exposed granite eroded from wind and rain. As seen in the foreground and area surrounding the pine, depressions formed in the rock. They initially hosted lichens and moss, which built up organic material where trees eventually rooted in this thin soil.
I took this photo in late morning, the pine tree casting a small shadow. Its stunted and windswept form tells a story of the harsh life it lives, roots clinging to the rock of this windy mountain. It forms a natural bonsai, twisted into shape by nature. Beyond, a smaller shrub is aspiring to the heights of this tree. Only time will tell if it can survive the challenges of Stone Mountain.