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Painted Hills

DLJeffs

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Wife and i drove out to an area called the Painted Hills today. We hadn't been there yet. Small area but pretty interesting. I always thought these soft, layered formations were sedimentatious but they were igneous. Lava dust carried minerals like iron ores (reddish layers) and magnesium oxides (black blotches) and leached them into the soft clays that formed from the dust. What i found interesting is that nothing grows on these hills. All around them sagebrush, rabbitbush, grasses, cactus grow - but nothing on the actual hill. Couldn't find any reasons for that in the literature they provide.

painted hills.jpg

prickly pear flower.jpg

tan hill north of trail.jpg

hedgerow hairstreak at painted hills.jpg

panorama.jpg
 

DLJeffs

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This site says something about the soil binding the water too tightly to release to the plants
Thanks for posting that Frank. I suppose it's possible the soil binds the water too tightly but lichens and moss grow on solid rock so it seems like something could still grow on the mounds. I have to do some more research on this.
Nice photos. I want to get down and see this area. It really isn't that far away but don't know if I will ever make it.
It's a very interesting area but I wouldn't make a lengthy drive just to see this. If you're passing through it's worth an hour or two diversion. It's not big enough or spectacular enough like Bryce or Arches or Canyonlands to dedicate an entire trip just to see it.
 
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