That’s a great question Dick, and the term playa was first used by Spanish explorers that found these sites. The definition for a playa is also a flat-floored bottom of an undrained desert basin that becomes at times a shallow lake. Or for Kansas a shallow basin with no outlet which periodically fills with water to form a temporary lake.
Robert L. Penner II Ph.D. The Nature Conservancy
Cheyenne Bottoms & Avian 593 NE 130 Avenue
Programs Manager Ellinwood, KS 67526
Chair, WHSRN-US Committee
U.S. Shorebird Conservation Plan Council
From: Birds & Their Habitats in Kansas [mailto:<KSBIRD-L...>] On Behalf Of Dick Burkepile
Sent: Thursday, September 7, 2017 5:05 PM
Hi, Kansas birders,
I continue to be fascinated by the use of the word "playa" on posts on
I grew up in Hoxie, Sheridan County. I lived their full time for the first
18 years of my life, summers during college and at least annual visits in
the 50 years since college. Never once did I ever hear the word "playa"
I recently surveyed my Facebook friends who live in Sheridan County or who
grew up there. Some of them know the word "playa" but they don't use it.
They use the word "lagoon".
So, I have questions.
Why do you use the word "playa" (which my Spanish-English dictionary
translates as "beach")? I've seen very few beaches in western Kansas.
Is there a difference between a lagoon and a non-beach playa?
Thank you for any consideration you want to give to these silly questions.