Painted Hills, John Day Fossil Beds
Eastern Oregon, USA
What is it made of
Layers of hard claystones which include ancient soils (palesols) and lake beds. Recently the surface of the hills had weathered into softer clay. The claystones were formed by several geographic events in the past 33 million yrs. the volcanic activity of cascade mountains (some 100 miles west) deposited layers of cooled ash. The atmosphere with the help of the plants and animals oxidized the ash. Ground water feed’ed the varied minerals. And in due course today’s claybeds were formed (wow what an amount of structural and chemical changes would have happened !!!!)
Colors of the Painted Hills
Aluminum, Silicon, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Sodium, Calcium, Phosphorus, Titanium, Potassium, Oxygen, Hydrogen – All this above and some additional elements by a very special secret recipe forms the beautiful colors of this wonderful scenery. Depending on the amount of moisture and the light available , the shades keeps varying thru the day and all seasons.
How come there is not much of flora on the hill
Its a interesting to note that there is not much of flora on the painted hills. And the reason is more interesting – The clay on the painted hills has a great ability to absorb water and swell. And most of the plant are not able to compete with the soil for water. And the once that do, u can see them in the crevices and gullies of the red hills (the yellow ones that blossoms during the spring are chaenactis and bee-plant.
For the Flowers view of the mountain check this out !!!