|Left: view northward with the delta of Deception Creek at scene center. Right: looking to the northwest with Blood Creek in the left background.|
|Left: looking toward the southeast with the state wildlife area in the distance. Right: closer shot of kite flyers on TNC nature trail (lower left corner). Cattail growth is similar to late May of the previous year.|
|Left: close-up shot of TNC marsh with dense cattail growth behind kite flyers. Right: ground view in the state wildlife area showing abundant waterfowl and well-developed cattails.|
|Left: delta of Deception Creek and dry creek channel in upper center of view. Kite flyers in lower right corner. Right: looking to the northwest over dry mudflat and cattail/bulrush thickets. The bright green plant in the mudflat is velvetleaf.|
|Left: dry channel of Deception Creek as it enters the marsh complex from the north. Right: mussel shells on the dry mudflat surface. Shells approx. 4 inches (10 cm) long.|
Right: SWA shows a tall stand of cattail.
|Thickets of emergent wetland vegetation: bulrush (left) and cattail (right). Although the surface of the mudflat is dry; roots reach moisture below and sustain the plants.
|Left: vehicles tracks in mudflat form intricate loops and circles. Right: dry delta of Deception Creek in left background with various cattail thickets, meadows and dry marshes in foreground and to right.|
|Narrow, sinuous paths are cattle trails cutting through cattail thickets. Looping vehicle tracks on mudflat were made by local youth riding ATVs (four-wheelers).|
Return to beginning.
|Panoramic overview looking northward at scene center. Small puddles are scattered in the marsh, and green emergent vegetation is sparse. Assembled from two overlapping photos.|
|Left: view toward northwest with Hoisington in the background. Right: looking northward over the main mudflat in the middle of the marsh complex.|
|Left: looking toward the southwest. Cattle graze around small ponds (center) and along Blood Creek, which is full of water. Right: close-up shot of cattle around small ponds.|
|Dead invertebrates on the meadow surface demonstrate dry conditions in the wetland soil. Crayfish (left) and snail (right).|
|Left: cattle trail through cattail thicket in the main marsh area. Right: sparse emergent vegetation beginning to appear on the adjacent meadow.
The 2011-13 drought came to an abrupt end with heavy rains and regional flooding beginning in late July through mid-August. TNC marshes were inundated with high water that recharged soil moisture and filled the pools. Kite aerial photography was conducted on September 6, about three weeks after peak flooding, under extremely hot conditions (99 °F) to document the effects of flooding and post-flood recovery.
|The gauging station on Walnut Creek at Albert, approximately 15 miles (24 km) west of Cheyenne Bottoms, is typical of central Kansas flooding. Peak discharge exceeded 460 cubic feet per second on August 12. Chart obtained from USGS.|
|Maximum drought (left) and post-flood (right). Landsat 8 OLI bands 8 (green + red), 5 (near-infrared) and 7 (mid-infrared) color coded as blue, green and red. Datasets from U.S. Geological Survey; image processing by JSA. * Kansas Wetland Education Center.|
|Left: view toward the northwest with Hoisington on the left horizon. Right: looking toward the northeast with many pools in the distance.|
|Left: view to the southeast. Extent of flooding marked by a ribbon of debris (wrack) around the edge of the wet meadow. Right: close-up shot of the marsh margin showing newly emergent bulrush and spike rush (A) and cattails (B).|
|Left: close-up shot of dead thatch with newly emergent vegetation growing up through water. Right: sun glint shows water across the marsh surface next to the observation tower.|
|Left: A – water smartweed (Lahring 2003), also known as water knotweed (Polygonum amphibium L.), B – great bulrush, and C – blunt spike rush. Right: A – mosquito fern (Azolla sp.) and B – lesser duckweed (Lemna minor).|
|Left: A – water speedwell (Veronica anagallis-aquatica L.) and B – algae. Right: close-up shot of water smartweed, mosquito fern, duckweed, and algae along the marsh margin.|
|Spiny cocklebur (Xanthium spinosum L.) is a particularly nasty weed that flourished around the marsh margin during the drought. The seed pods now have opened to disperse a multitude of seeds to blow in the wind.|
|Left: limit of high water is marked by flood-washed debris, known as wrack (silent w), consisting mainly of bulrush and cattail fragments. Note lush, green wet meadow in background. Right: Close-up view of wrack with numerous crayfish and snail shells.|
Return to beginning.
Continue to 2014 – 2017.
Return to Cheyenne Bottoms homepage.
All rights reserved © (2020).