This 55-mile wide scene from May 5th, 2019 shows how agriculture dominates the landscape in the flat-lying High Plains ecoregion of the Texas Panhandle. The northwest-trending Prairie Dog Town fork of the Red River (2) has cut deeply into the landscape to form Palo Duro Canyon. The surrounding flat, fertile landscape hosts broad swaths of irrigated farmland, dotted with small circular depressions that become shallow playa lakes during rainfall events. The High Plains merge into the Rolling Plains ecoregion within the Canyon and eastward.
Caprock Canyon State Park (1) is home to the Texas State Bison herd. One of five herds conserved in the late 19thand early 20th century, it served as a foundation to save the bison from extinction. The abandoned Clarity railway tunnel in the Park hosts a colony of migratory Mexican free-tailed bats during summer months.
North of the Canyon, Highway 287 cuts across the scene heading northwest towards Amarillo. Playa Lakes Wildlife Management Area-Taylor Unit (2) preserves wintering habitat for migratory waterfowl and shorebirds. Surrounded by irrigated fields, this former farmland has been restored to include native grasslands, playa lakes, and wetlands.
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