The expression of living colors becomes literally true for this sandstone formation. The krypto-biotic soil of the desert varnish mainly consists of dust and clay particles as a remain from evaporated water. This water originates from isolated thundershowers and moistens the sandstone for a short period of time. The solid crust of the desert varnish is produced by bacteria and microscopic fungi. High fractions of iron colorize the sandstone with a deep red. Fractions of magnesium cause a black appearance. Additionally, the fossilized Jurassic dunes itself contain a wide variety of colors. Here, the white Navajo sandstone contrasts with the red Entrada sandstone. Today’s landscape is about two million years old and is exposed by the erosive forces of wind, temperature and precipitation.
Canon 20D, EF-S 10-22mm, f/22, 4sec, ISO 100, polarization filter, tripod