Dean M. Chriss
Painted Hills, John Day Fossil Beds, Oregon
(Click image to enlarge)
This photograph was captured between downpours during a several day period of
rain in this normally arid region. The intense colors of this area are made
richer and deeper by water saturating the soil's surface.
Three tiny and widely separated units of John Day Fossil Beds National
Monument protect a total of just 14,000 acres of the unique five million
acre John Day Basin. The basin is like nowhere else on the planet but the
vast majority of it is occupied by ranches, farms, and resource extraction
sites that are forever altering the landscape.