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Spring in the Mono Basin | The Mono-logue

Spring in the Mono Basin

March 25th, 2014 by Emma, Project Specialist

Although everyone at the Mono Lake Committee is aware that it’s a bit early for spring to be here, on a day-to-day basis, we have to admit that the warm weather is pretty nice.

A blustery spring day at Mono Lake last week. Temperature: 50 degrees! Photo by Elin Ljung.

Now, the definition of spring might be a little different in the Mono Basin than it is in other parts of the country—or even other parts of California. Our Membership Coordinator, Ellen King, told me that the difference between winter and spring in the Mono Basin is that in winter, a snow storm will drop a few inches and that snow will stick and linger on the ground. However, in the spring, when snow falls, it doesn’t stick but rather melts quickly. Point being, in spring, it’s still cold enough to snow. Not exactly the flower buds and green leaves other locations might be experiencing right now, but we’ll take it!

And it’s true, even though it still consistently dips below freezing at night, it doesn’t dip quite as far as it was and the days are warming up to the 50s. Although we’ve got nothing like the 90-degree days I hear about from family in Southern California, I can tell that the air is different. It doesn’t feel as harsh or brisk as it did just a few weeks ago. There’s a lightness to it. There has been a change—a subtle one—but it’s still there.

This change also manifests in more tangible ways. When I walk home on my lunch break, I can hear birds singing in the trees. They might have been there before, but since I’m not really a birder (shhh, don’t tell!) I just started noticing them recently. Also, soon after the most recent storm, there were trickles of snowmelt running down the streets and off the roofs. And with the recent daylight savings transition, we have so much daylight after work we don’t know what to do with ourselves! It’s a welcome change from the winter days of 2:00pm sunsets. Another change is the activity in the store. While it’s nowhere near summer capacity, there are more people stopping in, browsing, and picking up a few postcards and bumper stickers to show everyone at home about this strange and wonderful place they just discovered.

Desert peach in full bloom in early May---we can't wait! Photo by Elin Ljung.

So what are you waiting for? Why not join us in Lee Vining as we welcome this early spring with hopes of the days soon to come without down jackets; days of blooming desert peach; days of travel to Yosemite Valley to see the falls at their peak? We’ll be here ready to receive anyone and everyone who stops by and in just a few short months, we’ll even take you out on the lake in our canoes!

Happy spring.


One Response to “Spring in the Mono Basin”

  1. avatar Allison Brooker Says:

    Such a beautifully written post, and gorgeous photographs. I hardly wish spring or summer on the Eastern Sierra yet, when there has barley been a winter. It never came to Los Angeles either. Nevertheless, the birds are really starting to chirp it up in the bush, and our strange seasons are marching forwards. Always yearning for the next journey through the Owens Valley to this most special area.

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