Bottoms Up

It’s no secret that the Four Corners is home to some of the most unique geologic features you’ll likely find anywhere on the globe.  And taking the cake for being perhaps the most bizarre geological area in this high desert is the 41,1170-acre Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness just south of Farmington. According to the Bureau of Land Management’s website, Bisti is Navajo for “shale hills” while De-Na-Zin takes its name from the Navajo words for “cranes.” Petroglyphs of cranes have been found south of the wilderness area. Despite its ancient origins, the Bisti today still evokes wonder for its Dr. Suessian sculpted formations. Fruitland Formation sandstone, shale, mudstone, coal, and silt make up the hoodoos and spires on the western side, while Kirtland Shale dominates the east. An ever-changing palate of earth tones, these badlands provide the visitor with a visual lesson in erosion dynamics. Here’s a gander:
  • Day in the Life
    What a little water, wind and time will do.
  • Day in the Life
    Pete Tschannen examines a remarkable specimen of fossilized wood perched on a mudstone altar.
  • Day in the Life
    A rare burst of primary color courtesy some desert flora.
  • Day in the Life
    A strange, egg-shaped stone
  • Day in the Life
    Strange hoodoos frequent many areas in Bisti.

In this week's issue...

January 25, 2024
Bagging it

State plastic bag ban is in full effect, but enforcement varies

January 26, 2024
Paper chase

The Sneer is back – and no we’re not talking about Billy Idol’s comeback tour.

January 11, 2024
High and dry

New state climate report projects continued warming, declining streamflows