Monday, May 16, 2011

Petrified Forest

Petrified Forest was the last park on our recent tour of the Southwest.
We've been here before but always when the Summer sun had washed out the colors and much of the beauty lies in the color of the rock.
On past trips the heat had kept me from exploring down into the badlands.  I was pleased that the weather cooperated and I was able to see these beautiful formations of Chinle Shale up close.






Of course, people do not come to this park just for the badlands, they come for the petrified wood.
Agate Bridge is an example of how the Park Service has changed its ways.
It was thought that this log would soon collapse so a support was made under it.  Today they would have allowed nature to take its course and the bridge would have been allowed to break and fall into the ravine.


 Painted Desert Inn is a relic of a bygone era.  It was built by the CCC on the site of the earlier Stone Tree House.  It no longer serves meals or provides lodging but is a museum and a tribute to the craftsmanship of an earlier era.
This is what people most want to see, the amazing colors of the petrified wood.
Once freely harvested by rock hounds, the petrified wood in the park is now protected.  They ask you when you enter if you have purchased any outside the park and on leaving if you have collected.  It is all on the honor system, though.  There are plenty of rock shops outside the park so it isn't necessary to steal our heritage.
 I like this one, you can see the petrified remains of the roots.  No doubt that this was once a living tree but that was 225 million years ago.  To find out more about how these trees came to be turned to stone, click here.
You can see more views of this wonderful world of ours at That's My World Tuesday, hosted for us each week by Klaus, Sandy, Wren and Sylvia.

23 comments:

Sylvia K said...

It is a fascinating place and your captures are terrific, Martha! That huge old tree is amazing! Thanks for the information you include, along with your photos, it makes your wonderful posts all the better! Love it! Enjoy your day!

Sylvia

jo©o said...

The most petrified thing would be me if I had to cross that bridge :-)

What age are we talking about with these trees?

Dianne said...

the colors are amazing and you captured them beautifully

Martha Z said...

These trees lived about 225 million years ago.

aka Penelope said...

The fallen tree reminds me of an old dinosaur bone. I would be petrified of having parts of me chipped away by rock hounds, if I were this multi-colored and beautiful. :)

Birgitta - foto CHIP said...

Interesting and fascinating :)

Carolyn Ford said...

OH MY GOODNESS! I think you captured the same log and tree trunk that I have done! Isn't this place a photo op waiting to happen no matter which way you turn???? Thank you for taking me back again...we were there the last days of last September as we headed to the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta on October 2, 2010.

Photo Cache said...

that is simply amazing. how huge is that tree????

Ebie said...

What a beautiful place! I'd bring extra memory cards!

That is such a huge tree!

Fjällripan said...

What a interesting and beautiful place!Must have been fantastic to visit, I would love to see it in real :)

Pretty Life Online said...

perfect shots!!! Have a great weekdays ahead!!! Hope to see you around.

Beth Niquette said...

What incredibly beautiful photography. These photos just fill my eyes, which is the greatest compliment I can give.

I found you via Clytie's blog Random Trash.

The dump is all that is left of the old hospital. It is too bad all those people--who once found a safety and a place to stay at the hospital, were turned out onto the streets with no where to go. Mental patients form a huge block of our homeless population.

So very sad. But we can remember through the things we find there.

VioletSky said...

This is truly an amazing site. It is difficult to imagine that these are millions of years old.

Gary said...

What a grand tour you've taken us on!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon Rver, Canada.

ρομπερτ said...

What an incredible place it must be. Haunting, yet beautiful. Thank you very much for this journey. Please have you all a good Tuesday.


daily athens

Kay L. Davies said...

That last photo is amazing, Martha. Wow!
I must admit to a little regret that the Inn no longer takes guests. What a beautiful place, and it would be nice for an unfittie like me to have accommodation close to these wonders. (Selfish of me, I know.)
— K

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

The Park Service has made a lot of changes over the years, most for the better. I remember 40 years ago they asked you about any petrified wood you might have taken. We didn't take any. We bought some outside the park.

Life Ramblings said...

such a fascinating place and amazing colours. thanks for the mini vacation.

Linda (PA_shutterbug) said...

I have never been here. Your photographs show well the colors of the petrified wood.

Linda Reeder said...

Cool! I love places like this. Great pics too.

clairz said...

Thank you for this lovely and informative post.

Stewart M said...

Hi there - what a great post - wonderful pictures, makes you realise how long some things have been on this earth - like trees, and how much damage we've managed to do in such a short time. Sobering really.

Great pictures

Stewart M - Australia

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Marvelous photos -- the tree w/roots really tells the remarkable story in one glance.