Spring in the Mono BasinMarch 25th, 2014 by Mono Lake Committee Staff
This post was written by Emma Oschrin, 2014 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.
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.
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!