Well-Nigh Wordless Wednesday: Before and After

I’m doing something a little different today and doing a two for one Well-Night Wordless Wednesday!  I enjoyed posting the photo of the cattle tank last week (I’ve worked in that one – it’s quite mucky), so this week I give you the cattle tank that is my main field site.  This is what it looks like during the spring:

Field Site Before

Field site, before monsoon

And this is what it looks like about two weeks after the monsoon begins:

field site, after monsoon

Field site, after monsoon begins

What a difference a few storms make!

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3 thoughts on “Well-Nigh Wordless Wednesday: Before and After

  1. Always curious as to what sort of stuff you find in ponds/creeks that dry up during part of the year. What do you find, mostly, in the tank?

    • Well, it depends. If a tank dries out completely (and this one gets very small but rarely completely dries), then you get a succession of aquatic insects once the tank fills. You’ll see lots of dytiscids, hydrophilids, and corixids at first, then some other things start to move in. There are also several cryptobiotic species that live dormant in dry soils that will pop back up when there’s water, things like fairy shrimp. In the tanks that don’t dry completely, you’ll get a decent odonate assemblage (of pond dwellers of course), several flies, nepids galore, naucorids, notonectids, and a very diverse community of shore beetles (mostly carabids and staphylinids). It’s mostly beetles and bugs in these habitats, and they’re nearly all things with high pollution tolerance values and rely on surface oxygen to breathe because most of these cattle tanks are actually ranch ponds and get pretty nasty thanks to the cows.

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