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The Season Seldom Seen: Winter Ecology of the Mono Basin

December 12th, 2017 by Nora, Lead Naturalist Guide

Have you ever wondered where all the tiny chipmunks that skitter up the lodgepole pines all summer go when the landscape is covered with several feet of snow? Or how they could possibly survive the cold temperatures and lack of food for months on end? What about how plants bounce back after being buried in snow? This winter we are excited to offer a new Field Seminar focusing on these questions and more!

A view of Mono Lake and the White Mountains from Lundy Canyon in January 2017. Photo by Bartshe Miller.

The Season Seldom Seen: Winter Ecology of the Mono Basin will investigate the connections plants and animals have with their winter environments in addition to what factors cause winter in the first place. Winter ecology reveals a new side of animal and plant life that is invisible until you seek it out. In the field we will discuss the different “personalities” of snow, why winter is longer and harsher at higher elevations, what adaptations plants and animals have evolved to survive cold snowy winters, and how humans have adapted to cope with winter. We will also look for bird and mammal tracks and burrows in the snow, and hopefully find some of the critters themselves to see their adaptations in action.

This seminar is a great way to experience the Mono Basin in the quiet solitude of winter and have an adventure you won’t forget. We will be snowshoeing at least three miles, so be prepared to be outside in possibly freezing temperatures at high elevation. Don’t have snowshoes? Don’t fret, we can rent a pair for you and take care of all the details.

Join us on January 13th and 14th for a wintry experience in the Mono Basin. Sign up here!

Rabbit tracks in the snow at Old Marina in January 2017. Photo by Nora Livingston.

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