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Another stop on our short tour of Arizona was the Petrified Forest which is part of the Painted Desert. The Petrified Forest was designated a National Monument on Dec. 8, 1986. It covers 218,533 acres or about 340 square miles. It is accessible by a 28 mile long road which runs through most of the park,

During the late Triassic period this desert region was located in the tropics and was seasonally wet and dry. In seasonal flooding trees washed into sandy river channels where they became buried by layers of gravely sand and volcanic ash which was the source of the silica. The volcanic ash helped to mineralize the buried logs by replacing the wood with silica, colored with oxides of iron and manganese.

This photo was taken with the sun brightly setting behind one of the huge colorfully layered moguls and you can see the exquisite field of crushed petrified wood in the foreground. The sky is washed out because my aim was to get the gemfield with the painted desert in the background. In future uploads I hope to show some close-ups of the petrified wood in its colorful beauty.

Yes that is a bird at the top of the picture. There were quite a few very large black birds which we were told were probably ravens.

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Additional Photos by Eileen Porterfield (Eileen) Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 23 W: 0 N: 23] (152)
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