- Series: Desert Places
- Paperback: 96 pages
- Publisher: University of Arizona Press (September 15, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0816524807
- ISBN-13: 978-0816524808
- Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.3 x 10 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 7 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,285,605 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Painted Desert: Land of Wind and Stone (Desert Places) Paperback – September 15, 2006
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“A worthy addition to the Desert Places series.”—The Times-Independent
From the Inside Flap
Most people who are familiar with the Painted Desert of northeastern Arizona know it only from having pulled off at the Petrified Forest exit on Interstate 40. If they happen to come by it at midday, as most do, they find a landscape drained of color and flattened under the direct sunlight. But this remote pocket of the Arizona desert, sandwiched between the Little Colorado River on one side and bold escarpments on the other, is much more than most tourists ever experience. An ethereal landscape of sculpted rock, wind-fluted cliffs, and elegantly drifting sand, the Painted Desert is a rich storehouse of natural beauty, colorful history, and scientific wonders. Here the strongest winds in Arizona blow across extensive dunefields, where less than ten inches of rain falls each year and only a few desert-savvy Navajo are able to live. Now, for the first time award-winning writer Scott Thybony and freelance photographer David Edwards offer an intimate look at a place that remains inhospitable and inaccessible to so many. They share insights about the geology, paleontology, anthropology, and human history of the region as well as personal stories that dispel the misconceptions and mysteries that surround this delicate and difficult landscape. With fifteen stunning photographs gracing the text, this book offers a vibrant portrait of one of the Southwestas most barren, and most colorful landscapes.
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Top customer reviews
Fast and pleasant reading, but only mildly entertaining, not at all useful, and not worth the $10+ I spent to get it.
For some time now they have been publishing books on selected desert places as diverse as The San Luis Valley, The Black Rock Desert, The Grand Canyon, Organ Pipe Cuctus, and now The Painted Desert. One factor that has tied these diverse landscapes together for the reader is the top notch writers and photographers selected to present what turns out to be both a wonderful rand and stunningly beautiful photographs.
This relatively short book, just 96 pages, will take the reader from the Grand Canyon to the Petrified Forest National Park in a landscape rarely seen by the traveling public, especially those that take the Petrified Forest exit off Interstate 40. The Painted Desert runs some 200 miles across northeastern Arizona and most lies within Indian country, Navajo and Hopi. It contains not only the largest collection of petrified wood in the world but an abundance of natural beauty, scientific phenomeon's, and an intriguing history within its windswept, sandy, difficult landscape. It is believed the land dates back some 225 million years to the Late Triassic period and indeed some of the best fossil records and rock formations are found in this area that receives less than ten inches of rain yearly and where the strongest winds in Arizona blow sand into dune fields and cover and uncover treasures long sought after by scientists, collectors, and photographers.
Not only is there a discussion of the geology, paleontology, anthropology, and human history of the area but just enough personal stories and insights to make the reader think Thybony is sitting with them sharing a cup of coffee and his experiences in this national treasure little known to most travelers.
It addition to the book being a real plaeasure to read, thanks to award winning writer Scott Thybony and his highly readable literary style, the photographs are strinkingly beautiful and a credit to David Edwards, himself a sixteen year veteral of photographing for the likes of National Geographic.
This is a worthy addition the the Desert Places series. But beware, after reading this book the reader is liable to just have to order the others in the series. They are that good and inexpensive to boot. Highly recommended.
The writer/photographer team for the Painted Desert is well-chosen. Scott Thybony is the only white person who has both herded Navajo sheep and discovered dinosaur fossils in the Painted Desert. Dave Edwards is a world-class photographer who has spent decades exploring deserts from the Grand Canyon to Mongolia.
Edwards might seem to be placed at a disadvantage by the Desert Places format, which is limited to black-and-white photographs for a place defined by its colors. But his keen eye for desert shapes, light subtleties, and weather moods succeeds in bringing out the personality of the Painted Desert.
Thybony takes us on a personal trek into the desert, letting us meet its geology and famous residents--both its fossils and its Navajo residents today. He shares stories of some of the unlikely characters who have come to the Painted Desert, from fossil hunters to movie makers.
Best of all, Thybony offers us a poetic eye: "A mythic perspective comes easily in the desert. I find myself drawn to places where the normal sense of time collapses...Out here the tracks of strange life-forms punch holes in the solid present, weakening its hold."
Diane C. Donovan