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Stanton Repeat Photography

Mile 214.1, Across from Spanish Bottom, Downstream View from River Left (Stake 2339)

Viewing Cataract Canyon Site 11 of 32 Return to Main Stanton Index

Stake 2339, 31 May 1889 View Larger Image
31 May 1889
This downstream view shows a surveyor with the Brown-Stanton Expedition of 1889. Water in the Colorado River is close to the annual peak for this year. Spanish Bottom appears across the river and is marked by a line of riparian vegetation, including prominent cottonwood. Although it is difficult to determine the species from this distance, the large clumps (extreme right) appear to be desert olive, and the shoreline plants appear to be coyote willow. The dense shrubs just to the right of the surveyor are desert olive, a native riparian shrub. The plants around the surveyor are slightly out-of-focus and are impossible to definitively identify, although some have the same branch and leaf characteristics as longleaf brickellbush.
Photo credit: Franklin A. Nims, 57-RS-37, courtesy of The National Archives

Stake 2339, 22 July 1991 View Larger Image
22 July 1991
Considerable change has occurred at this site owing to the combination of tamarisk and fire. Tamarisk forms a nearly impenetrable barrier on river right above the waterline. In the 1980s, a fire that was accidentally started on channel left (downstream from this camera station) swept upstream beyond this point; then embers blew across the river and started another fire in Spanish Bottom. A dead cottonwood, established after 1889, appears on channel left, and a combination of snags and trees that survived the fire are on river right. Cottonwood increased on Spanish Bottom before the fire and remains more numerous here than in 1889. Desert olive may not have been as fortunate; stumps are common along the top of the terrace at Spanish Bottom. Jack Schmidt is in the foreground, and a persistent individual of desert olive appears just to his right.
Photo credit: Robert H. Webb

Stake 2339, 30 July 2010 View Larger Image
30 July 2010
Considerable turnover has occurred in the vegetation throughout the view owing to human-caused wildfire on both sides of the river at Spanish Bottom. This fire may have promoted non-native species, including Russian thistle and Russian knapweed, both of which occur in this area. Bob Webb occupies the position of the Brown-Stanton surveyor in the foreground, and that same desert olive, now joined with a dense stand of healthy coyote willow and dying tamarisk, is just beyond him to the right.
Photo credit: Steve Young

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