Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Montezuma Well

So called because early Europeans thought that the cliff dwellers in the area were at the north end of the Aztec empire. The name has stuck, though we now know better.

It's a large sinkhole fed by a constant flow underground flow of water.

There's cliff dwellings on the far side

Maybe you can see the cliff dwellings a bit better

This is as good a picture as I have of the cliff dwellings

This water source was used for irrigation by the original people of the area.

OCR on an informational sign:

Since water in Montezuma Well is charged with carbon dioxide (CO2), gill-breathing fish can not
survive: instead, an aquatic community of several unique species—each dependent on the other - has evolved.
By day, small floating plants—aIgae—manufacture food from light energy and the rich supply of carbon dioxide. Tiny, shrimplike animals—amphipods— feed by combing algae cells through appendages below their mouths.

Leeches, living by day in the bottom of the well, rise at night and, searching with the sensory hairs of their bodies, gulp large quantities of the small amphipods. Night-swimming water scorpions also make evening meals of the shrimplike creatures. More familiar turtles and muskrats live around the
well, and at dawn and dusk you might see squirrels, foxes, skunks, raccoons and snakes coming to feed. ln winter, look for black-headed Canadian
geese, green-winged teals and mallards.

- Posted at great expense from my iPhone

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