|Lowell Observatory, AZ; telescope which located Pluto in 1930|
|Meteor Crater, AZ|
|Lisa is resting on a log known as "Old Faithful" along the Giant Logs Trail of Petrified Forest National Park, AZ. At 34 feet long, this long weighs approximately 44 tons. This log is a rarity at the Petrified Forest National Park since it is all in one piece. The majority of very long petrified trees are fractured along their length in several places. Some of the fractured trees are apparent in the distance on the right hand side of the photo. Petrified logs are composed of quartz, so they are hard and brittle and tend to break when subjected to stress. Such stresses may have been produced by earthquakes.|
|This photo displays the beautiful array of colors
which are present in most petrified logs. Petrified wood
is primarily clear quartz mixed with impurities such as
iron and magnesium; for instance, the red and yellow
patches in the wood are due to iron.
From a quick glimpse of the picture, one can easily understand why petrified wood is treasured world wide and protected by the U.S. government as a unique resource. Unfortunately, every year over twelve tons of this wood are stolen from the national park. Sometimes the guilty parties are compelled by their consciences to return their plunder. An impressive display of the returned items and apology notes is located in the lobby leading to the Giant Logs Trail.
|Upon leaving the Petrified Forest, we entered the Painted Desert. This is one of the most serene areas on earth. These mounds are piles of sandstone, clay, and siltstone. The distinct white layers are sandstone, the darker red areas are iron-stained siltstone, and the caps of the mounds are clay.|