|Standard view toward the north in early May 2008. Extensive open water remains in the marsh complex. Emergent marsh vegetation is mostly dormant at this time of year.|
|Standard view toward the northeast in early May 2008. Deception Creek and its small delta are visible in the left background.|
|Wide-angle view toward the northeast in mid June 2008. Emergent marsh vegetation is active and consists mainly of bulrush with small patches of cattail.|
|Wide-angle view toward the east in mid June 2008. Nature Conservancy marshes in foreground and flooded pools of the state wildlife area in the background.|
|Overview of KWEC looking toward the southeast. Highway K-156 crosses the foreground, and a picnic area is visible in lower right portion. Outlet canal of the State Wildlife Area is toward upper right side. Photo date May 2008.|
|Closer view of KWEC showing the semi-circular plan of the building and the demonstration marsh behind the building. Photo date May 2008.|
|Our final visit in 2008 took place in late September, when water level still remained high following a relatively wet and cool summer. Color-visible (left) and color-infrared (right) views over Nature Conservancy marsh toward the northeast with delta of Deception Creek in the upper left portion (Aber et al. 2009).|
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|Aerial views. Left: wide-angle shot looking toward the northwest. Right: closer view toward the northeast. Cattle in lower right corner for scale. Note patchy distribution of Azolla (maroon) over the marsh surface.|
|Ground pictures. Left: oblique shot, about one yard across. Right: closeup vertical shot, about one foot across. Azolla is light pink to dark maroon just above water level with bright green algae below water.|
It was not possible to predict the long-term consequences of Azolla in Nature Conservancy marshes at that time. On the beneficial side, Azolla is considered a good food source for waterfowl and provides cover for small invertebrates, which could enhance the value of these marshes for migrating waterfowl. On the other hand, Azolla spreads rapidly by vegetative reproduction and may form extensive mats. It should never be introduced intentionally, as it quickly may overspread a water body and become quite a nuissance.
|Wide-angle view toward the northwest with Hoisington in the background. The new observation tower, built in 2009, may be seen in the lower right portion, and students operate the kite and camera from the lower right corner of this scene.|
|Looking toward the southeast with pools of the state wildlife area in the background. A large smoke plume drifts southward from a controlled burn on the northern side of the state wildlife area.|
|Marsh vegetation. Left: cattle ate cattail down to stumps the previous fall (foreground), but did not graze on bullrush (behind). Right: algae is among the first plants to thrive in the early spring conditions.|
|Controlled burning in the state wildlife area. Fires are set to remove dead vegetation thatch, which returns nutrients to the soil, allows new vegetation to grow up rapidly in the spring, and restricts woody vegetation from becoming established.|
|Emergent vegetation covers substantial areas of the marsh, and the maroon color of Azolla is hardly visible. Left: view toward northwest with Hoisington in the background. Right: view toward northeast showing the small delta of Deception Creek and grazing cattle.|
|American bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana). Left: adult frog sits in a patch of Azolla. Right: Plains gartersnake (Thamnophis radix) has caught a small bullfrog; the snake already has swallowed the entire right hind leg of the frog, which has ceased to struggle.|
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|Panoramic image looking to northeast at center, east toward right, north toward left. Assembled from two wide-angle shots.|
|Left: JSA and SWA setting up to conduct kite aerial photography next to the observation tower. Note cattle grazing on wet meadow in background. Right: closeup vertical shot of cattails growing in the marsh. Note muddy water from recent runoff.|
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