Home Archived May 12, 2018

Stanton Repeat Photography

Mile 2.0, Colorado River, Downstream View from River Left (Stake 755a)

Viewing Glen Canyon Site 14 of 16 Return to Main Stanton Index

Stake 755a, 26 December 1889 View Larger Image
26 December 1889
The Stanton expedition reached Lee’s Ferry (mile 0.0) for the second time on December 23, 1889, after a hard row against an upstream wind. The following day, crew members rowed back into Glen Canyon to complete their instrumental survey of the railroad route. Nims did not take notes as thoroughly as Stanton; he probably made this downstream view in Glen Canyon on the afternoon of December 24. Although Stanton states that the day was “clear and beautiful,” the photograph shows partly cloudy skies. Although the river corridor is mostly devoid of riparian vegetation, desert vegetation – notably blackbrush – appears on the ledge in the foreground.
Photo credit: Franklin A. Nims, 57-RS-250, courtesy of The National Archives

Stake 755a, 11 June 1975 View Larger Image
11 June 1975
The beach in the lower right has eroded back into a cove and has been mostly colonized by riparian vegetation, both native and non-native species. Downstream, the sandbar on the left has also been obscured by riparian vegetation. The blackbrush on the ledge persist, pricklypear is new to the foreground.
Photo credit: Raymond M. Turner

Stake 755a, 20 December 1989 View Larger Image
20 December 1989
Vegetation on the beach has decreased in response to sustained high-water releases from Glen Canyon Dam in the mid-1980s, but the sand itself has been eroded further, creating a cove where the boat is parked. The blackbrush individuals in the foreground persist.
Photo credit: Raymond M. Turner

Stake 755a, 28 October 1992 View Larger Image
28 October 1992
Tom Wise replicated Nims’ view on a cloudy day at 2:25PM. The most obvious changes are the erosion of the sand bar at the lower right and the increase of tamarisk at left center. Few changes have occurred in the blackbrush-dominated vegetation in the foreground; all eight individuals of blackbrush survived the intervening 103 years despite livestock grazing; only one became established in the past century. Pricklypear has increased in density. The line at left center is Stanton’s road, built in 1899 as assessment work to validate upstream mining claims; rocks displaced from the road appear at bottom left.
Photo credit: Tom Wise

Stake 755a, 21 April 2011 View Larger Image
21 April 2011
Riparian vegetation has increased, obscuring what remains of the sand bar. This new vegetation swath is mostly tamarisk and seepwillow with an understory of horsetail, fescue, mountain rush, and a native orchid. All the blackbrush in the foreground persist along with five individuals of pricklypear, providing an extreme contrast between stability in the desert ecosystem versus large change in the riparian zone.
Photo credit: Steve Tharnstrom

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