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Painted Hills Oregon

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Painted Hills Oregon

Oregon, north-central, Geological formations aptly referred to as the Painted Hills in the John Day National Monument area. Years ago when I first started displaying images from here, the colors, shapes and patterns seemed unbelievable to some and were at times dismissed as unreal. As the area became more popular, that kind of skepticism has been subdued. Weather conditions, moisture content and of course time of day can dramatically change the tones, color density and hues. This phenomenon can also lead to comments like “I’ve been there and it doesn’t look like that”. The terminology that I like to use is art in nature and in this case, the look is related to geological eras including floodplain deposits from when this region of Oregon was warm and humid. Laterite soil (deposits rich in iron and aluminum) account for the reds, whereas the blacks are identified as lignite - a low-grade coal formed by the compression of partially decayed vegetation (Peat). The other more typical grey coloring is shale, mudstone or siltstone. Then there are the mixtures that vary from gold to yellow and may even appear a light blue under the right lighting conditions. Overall it was a unique set of events that created this magnificent place.