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Stanton Repeat Photography

Mile 108.5, Bass Camp, Upstream View from River Right (Stake 1479)

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Stake 1479, 17 February 1890 View Larger Image
17 February 1890
John Wesley Powell and his geologist, Clarence Dutton, had warned Stanton that he would not find a level place to serve as a switching yard. With a touch of sarcasm, Stanton called the place where he would have built such a yard ‟Dutton’s Depot.” After the crew lined Bass Rapid and stopped for lunch just below, Stanton climbed up about 300 feet above the river to make one last view of his proposed switching yard. The extensive foreground shows ten individuals of Mormon tea and a few spiny asters. A pricklypear appears at lower right.
Photo credit: Robert B. Stanton, 57-RS-518, courtesy of The National Archives

Stake 1479, 20 February 1992 View Larger Image
20 February 1992
We first replicated this view in 1990, but returned two years later to replicate the view under conditions more similar to those in 1890. Unfortunately, the bright sunlight of 1992 caused considerably deeper shadows than those caused by cloudy conditions in 1890. Only three of the individuals of Mormon tea have died during the century; all were in the center of the 1890 view. In contrast, brittlebush, shown here with its silvery leaves and hemispheric shape, dominates the assemblage, with about ten brittlebush now appearing in the view. The pricklypear did not persist, and spiny aster no longer appears in the foreground.
Photo credit: Steve Tharnstrom

Stake 1479, 22 September 2010 View Larger Image
22 September 2010
Many of the same brittlebush that were present in 1992 are still alive; two have died. Most of the Mormon tea that had persisted the preceding century are still alive, but several more have died, notably in the lower right foreground and in the center of the view. This turnover in Mormon tea is unusually high compared to most views in Grand Canyon. 
Photo credit: Bill Lemke

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