21-Dec-2001 -- As there are other photos taken at the confluence from another visit, we are posting photos of the approach.
The walk to the confluence is about 0.25 miles from a rough ranch road across a playa lake of about one acre. It is depicted on the topographical maps as a stippled blue area. In this part of west Texas and in the Panhandle, a playa lake or playa is an intermittent pond. It is noticeable as a slight depression in the surface of varying area from a few square yards to several acres. During the few periods of rain, in this semi-arid region, playas drain the surounding land and fill with water. They will hold water for several weeks providing support for many species of plants and animals.
Tadpoles hatch from eggs laid during the last wet period and complete their metamorphosis to frogs and finally back to eggs as the mud finally drys.
Populations of mosquitos and other aquatic insects bloom when the playa is wet.
The playa is a temporary wetland. Buffalo rolled in the playa lake mud over 100 years ago. This activity deepened the playa and compacted the soil so that the playa would hold water for just a little bit longer each season.
To us out here, the playa may be the only water for miles and is very much its own special ecosystem.
In the photos, one can see that the land in the playa is just a little greener than the surrounding area.