Watermarks on Willow Trees

Watermarks on trees and other objects are considered to be field indicators of potential wetland hydrology, even if the water is not present when one observes the watermarks.

 

Willow trees with watermarks

Willow trees with watermarks

 

In this case the watermarks (i.e., the dark staining on the lower portions of these willow trees) can be related to previous observations of long-term standing water at this location.  Also, at the moment standing water is still present, even though the water level is currently much shallower than it was previously.

 

Great egrets and willows

Great egrets and willows

 

In my opinion, one can better understand and use these indirect clues about wetlands if one observes the systems firsthand over time.

 

Foraging Great egrets

Foraging Great egrets

 

I suspect, however, that these Great Egrets could care less about these watermarks – their interests are centered on the potential food items available in this partially de-watered habitat.

To each its own.

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