The painted hills unit in the John Day area of Oregon has been a favorite of photographers since its discovery because of its stunning colors and other worldly scenery. I’ve been there many times. Some visits were more successful than others, but one particular shot that I’ve obsessed over has eluded me for quite some time. In early may, in certain years, yellow flowers bloom in the folds of the painted hills, creating a stunning extra element to what would otherwise be an attractive scene. Well, this was one of those years. I left Bend early on a May 30th to scout the painted hills. To my excitement, the chenactis and golden bee plants were blooming just as I’d hoped. The ranger, Scott, a very nice fellow, said it had been five years since they had bloomed in the folds of the painted hills. He even promised an up close guided tour of the hills if I returned that evening, so I returned to Bend, and returned later that evening, with My wife Debbie and daughter, Emma. I was fortunate enough to capture this image of blooming bee plants in the grooves of the painted the next morning. It was truly a privilege to get such wonderful access to such a special location. Below you’ll find several other shots from the same trip that I’m excited about.