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Stanton Repeat Photography

Mile 215.3, Downstream from the Confluence, Upstream View from River Left (Stake 2621)

Viewing Cataract Canyon Site 5 of 32 Return to Main Stanton Index

Stake 2621, 31 May 1889 View Larger Image
31 May 1889
This upstream view documents the potential route of the Colorado Canon and Pacific Railroad and clearly shows details on the bottomland on the left side of the Colorado River. Thick biological soil crusts are prominent in the intershrub areas of the foreground and midground, and these crusts surround various shrubs, including saltbushes and seepweed. The riparian zone includes a mixture of Goodding willow, coyote willow, desert olive, and netleaf hackberry. Several individuals of what appears to be plains pricklypear are visible in the foreground.
Photo credit: Franklin A. Nims, 57-RS-30, courtesy of The National Archives

Stake 2621, 21 July 1992 View Larger Image
21 July 1992
The plains pricklypear have died, and shadscale has increased in the view. The biological soil crusts remain but are subdued in this view, at least in part because of non-native cheatgrass, which is locally dense on these bottomlands. Although some native riparian species persist, they are partially hidden in the sea of non-native tamarisk, which obscures the view of the river. Native trees appear in a line at the center; from left to right, these are a boxelder tree, a Goodding willow, another boxelder tree, and a netleaf hackberry; the plants at this location in 1889 appear to be desert olive and hackberry. A number of shrubs persist on the bottomland, including four-wing saltbush, seepweed, and shadscale.
Photo credit: Steve Tharnstrom

Stake 2621, 29 July 2010 View Larger Image
29 July 2010
Most of the shadscale in the foreground have died, likely the result of the protracted drought over the intervening 18 years. Biological soil crusts are again prominent despite some new seepweed, globemallow, and non-native Russian thistle. Unlike other sites nearby, pricklypear has not reestablished. Water in the Colorado River is again visible through a gap caused by the death of a boxelder tree, but the Goodding willow, the second boxelder, and the netleaf hackberry persist.
Photo credit: Steve Young

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