Robert gave an accurate answer. I also grew up in NW KS and we called them lagoons. Not sure that there even were sewer lagoons at that time. Farmers in the area still call them lagoons - which could be good information for birders who are in western KS looking for water to bird.
Water in the lagoons was always a good sign. At least we had some rain and would maybe have a crop that year. The memory of the toads singing when the lagoons had water is still a favorite of my childhood.
For the most part, we didn't know the names most of the birds, but the whirling ones (phalaropes) were always fascinating.
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 Kansas Birds.
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.