Large Cottonwood tree along the Colorado River
I photographed this large, native cottonwood tree (Western Cottonwood, Fremont Popular or Populus fremontii) along the Colorado River to show what the Colorado used to look like before the invasion of the tamarisk (read more here).
Most of the plants in this photo are native. You can see the tamarisk is the left corner, creeping up from the river (which is lying below the foliage and before the red sandstone canyon wall). The agressive and dense tamarisk growth has virtually replaced the native willows that once lined the banks of the river. (This photo was taken along Utah Highway 279, about five miles south of Moab, Utah -- see map. The paved highway ends at the potash plant and turns into the unpaved "Shafer Trail".)
(Orig: 05/26/2010 07:20 1140v 11c 7f)