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The Mono-logue

Celebrate bird migration with a Mono Lake guided trip

August 24th, 2016 by Nora, Lead Naturalist Guide
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Have you ever seen a flock of shorebirds dancing in air over a glassy reflective lake? It’s a must-see, even if you aren’t a birder. The birds swirl around each other with seemingly no leader but they’re always in sync, making tight turns and flashing their white bellies in unison. Their whir of wings is calming, a near-silent chorus of feathers.

Wilson's Phalaropes flock over Mono Lake in large numbers. Photo by Bartshe Miller.

Wilson’s Phalaropes flock over Mono Lake in large numbers. Photo by Bartshe Miller.

Late August is the best time to be in the Mono Basin to see large numbers of shorebirds like sandpipers, curlews, and plovers. We’ve designed a few guided trips to get out and scour the shores … more »

Sign up for the 36th annual Tioga Pass Run

August 23rd, 2016 by Jessica, Office Director
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While its claim to fame is “only one hill,” the Tioga Pass Run is one hefty task.

Fall colors along the road during the Tioga Pass Run. Photo by Bartshe Miller.

Fall colors along the road during the Tioga Pass Run. Photo by Bartshe Miller.

Over 12.4 miles, runners and walkers ascend 3,164 feet from Lee Vining to the eastern entrance of Yosemite National Park. Along the way, Mt. Dana stands proudly over Lee Vining Canyon, holding what’s left of last winter’s snowpack in its couloirs. The meadows of Lee Vining Canyon are turning … more »

Fall colors at Mono Lake: It’s not too early to plan your trip

August 21st, 2016 by Nora, Lead Naturalist Guide
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Yes, I know, it’s only August, and the canyons are still glittering green with quaking aspen trees. But if you are thinking about visiting in the fall, now is the time to start planning your trip!

The wide open views and hillsides covered in aspen make the Conway Summit area a great place to enjoy autumn. Photo taken on October 21, 2010 by Bartshe Miller.

The wide open views and hillsides covered in aspen make the Conway Summit area a great place to enjoy autumn. Photo taken on October 21, 2010 by Bartshe Miller.

The colors usually start to change in mid-September and peak around mid-October. By November, the leaves are usually on the ground and snow has arrived. Different areas peak at different times, so let us do the scouting! The Mono Lake Guided Trip program has five trips scheduled in October to take visitors to the hottest spots for fall colors during the peak. … more »

Coming to an end: Reflections from two summers in the Mono Basin

August 19th, 2016 by Adam, Mono Lake Intern
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“My unorthodox journey to the Eastern Sierra and first two weeks of work at the Mono Lake Committee have been life-changing experiences (especially for someone who had never lived on his own or seen the American West before)….” —me, two years ago

Gabby, Grace, Adam and Connor hear about the LA Aqueduct from Geoff during intern training. Photo by Erv Nichols.

Gabby, Grace, Adam and Connor hear about the LA Aqueduct from Geoff during intern training. Photo by Erv Nichols.

Over two years ago the Mono Lake Committee took a chance and hired me, despite my intended economics major, failure to travel west of Omaha, Nebraska, and previous work experience consisting solely of foodservice-based work study at Grinnell College and technology replacement duties for Mason City, Iowa’s community school district. As you can see in my previous Mono-logue post, I was absolutely blown away by my initial experiences in the Mono Basin.

A lot has changed in my life since I first interned at the Mono Lake Committee two years ago; I’ve graduated from … more »

Luna: A full moonrise during a trip to Mono Lake

August 17th, 2016 by Lisa, Outdoor Education Instructor
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The full moon begins to show its subtle beauty as I sit atop Sagehen Mountain looking towards the White Mountains. We are here with Pacoima Beautiful, the first environmental justice non-profit in the Northeast San Fernando Valley.

This was the first moonrise some of the Pacoima Beautiful students had ever seen. Photo by Santiago Escruceria.

This was the first moonrise some of the Pacoima Beautiful students had ever seen. Photo by Santiago Escruceria.

There are ten students and four leaders, and we are all huddled together beneath the stars in awe of the moonrise; nothing separates us from the Milky Way. The air feels cool, but not cold, despite the wind. After contemplation, the students embark on a solo walk back to the vehicles. This is a chance for everyone in the group to meditate and practice presence, something difficult to come by in our modern world. … more »

Refreshing ‘Ologists: Sierra Nevada glaciers

August 14th, 2016 by Grace, Mono Lake Intern
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Much of Yosemite National Park’s most iconic landforms, such as the granite cliffs of Yosemite Valley and the rounded domes of Tuolumne Meadows, were shaped by glaciers. These glaciers were ubiquitous to the Sierra Nevada landscape for millions of years. More recently, however, we’re starting to see these glaciers vanish due to climate change.

Photo courtesy of the National Park Service.

A photograph of the Lyell Glacier taken in 1883 by Israel Russel contrasts sharply with the extent of the glacier in 2013. Photo courtesy of the National Park Service.

Join us this Wednesday, August 17 at 4:00pm in the Mono Lake Committee gallery to learn more about the fate of Sierra Nevada glaciers. Yosemite National Park geologist Greg Stock will discuss the Sierra Nevada glacial history and how modern-day climate change is affecting these glaciers.

Canoe Mono Lake before the season ends

August 11th, 2016 by Matt, Mono Lake Intern
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Enjoy a peaceful morning float on Mono Lake with a guided canoe tour. Photo by Erv Nichols.

Enjoy a peaceful morning float on Mono Lake with a guided canoe tour. Photo by Erv Nichols.

Have you ever wanted to learn more about Mono Lake from the water? Why not join one of our famous canoe tours? Canoe tours have been an exciting part of the Mono Lake Committee since the beginning. One of our founders, David Gaines, used to take visitors out in his canoe in order to show off the wonders of Mono Lake up close and it is a tradition that is still very popular to this day.

Join our seasoned guides as we wind our way through … more »

Enter the 2016 Free Drawing today!

August 10th, 2016 by Andrew, Canoe Coordinator
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It’s not often you get the chance to win a pair of round-trip tickets on Southwest Airlines or a Yosemite getaway while supporting Mono Lake at the same time, but during the Mono Lake Committee’s Free Drawing fundraiser, you can!

2015-12-15 Free Drawing drawing ELj_8733

Andrew and Lily selecting tickets for the 2015 Free Drawing. Photo by Elin Ljung.

This year, we are offering more than two dozen amazing prizes including fun-filled vacations and relaxing retreats in the Mono Basin, San Francisco, Mammoth Lakes, Benton Hot Springs, and more. Since 2016 marks the National Park Service’s centennial, we are also offering an adventure in the Channel Islands and stays in Yosemite, Death Valley, and Kings Canyon National Parks. You will also have the chance to win ski passes, rafting trips, outdoor gear, and much more. Be sure to check out the full prize list to see … more »

Destruction and renewal

August 10th, 2016 by Sandra, Birding Intern
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The presence of wildfires has made me think about the seemingly contradictory aspects of destruction and rebirth a lot this summer.

smoldering Marina fire

The Marina Fire’s smoldering aftermath on the west side of Highway 395 evidences stark contrast to the unaffected trees, grasses and shrubs east of the highway. All photos by Sandra Noll.

June’s Marina Fire came uncomfortably close to Mono Lake Committee headquarters in Lee Vining. It was the nearest I have personally been to wildfire and, while awed and inspired by the response of firefighters from multiple agencies and the impressive accuracy of helicopter and aircraft pilots dropping water and fire retardant in turbulent winds and updrafts, I was also fearful with a dramatic new awareness of fire’s destructive capacity. This fire’s aftermath, still quite visible from … more »

New gallery show & opening: Following Water — A painting journey through the Sierra by Erika Perloff

August 9th, 2016 by Lily, Information Center & Bookstore Manager
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Painter and California native Erika Perloff will be showing her art in the Mono Lake Committee gallery starting August 13.

Moonrise, Mono Lake

Moonrise, Mono Lake by Erika Perloff will be on display at the Mono Lake Committee Gallery starting August 13.

Erika grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area where she was inspired to paint by the beautiful landscapes and the bustling art scene of the city. Throughout her life, she has developed a knowledge and love of nature through her work as park ranger, naturalist, and outdoor educator. Erika’s artwork demonstrates her understanding of the landscapes she paints while showing … more »

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