Home Archived May 12, 2018

Stanton Repeat Photography

Mile 210.8, Rapid 4, Upstream View from River Left (Stake 3067)

Viewing Cataract Canyon Site 17 of 32 Return to Main Stanton Index

Stake 3067, 4 June 1889 View Larger Image
4 June 1889
A couple days of progress were lost for the Brown-Stanton Expedition due to camera repairs and difficulties incurred while lining and portaging the boats. Surveying for the railroad bed continued on the left side of the Colorado River through Cataract Canyon. The black triangular area in the upper right corner is the result of Nims’s shading the lens from the sun. Some distinctive pieces of driftwood are lying parallel with the river in the foreground, and Mormon tea individuals are clearly visible on the more stable surface on the right side of the view. Netleaf hackberry trees are present on both banks, including one large and striking individual on the upstream side of the sandbar across the river.
Photo credit: Franklin A. Nims, 57-RS-77, courtesy of The National Archives

Stake 3067, 4 June 1993 View Larger Image
4 June 1993
The flow on this day was between 60,000 and 70,000 ft3/s. Based on Nims’s photo, Jim Braggs of the National Park Service estimated the flow of 1889 at about 40,000 ft3/s. Some of the driftwood lodged in the center front portion of this photo is still in place, but it is hidden behind a new netleaf hackberry tree. Trees and scrubs in general have increased, including singleleaf ash, hackberry, Fremont barberry, and skunkbush sumac; persistent needle-and-thread grass and Indian ricegrass are present; the shrub winterfat has persisted on the right side of the view; and a number of Mormon tea individuals look strikingly similar 104 years after the original photograph was taken. Non-native tamarisk are now present, obscuring the distribution of native netleaf hackberry. According to tree-ring analysis, the prominent hackberry tree on river right (left center) sprouted in 1802.
Photo credit: Robert H. Webb

Stake 3067, 31 July 2010 View Larger Image
31 July 2010
Some of the historic driftwood is still in place, although much of the pile has disintegrated, and some pieces can be seen through the netleaf hackberry tree, new in 1993 but now died back in the foreground. Many of the plants visible in 1993 are clearly visible and persistent in 2010, although the perennial grasses in general have decreased. The large hackberry that dominated the foreground 17 years previously has died back. The very old hackberry across the river has also died back but is still alive.
Photo credit: Steve Young

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