A Hermit Thrush is perched low and well hidden in a Western Hemlock, singing his ethereal sonata that is simultaneously uplifting and sad. His song echoes through the pines, drifts out over Tioga Lake, and wafts up towards Mt. Dana.
Yesterday, my guided trip clients and I watched a pair of Williamson’s Sapsuckers bringing food to their nest cavity in a burned fir snag for twenty minutes. The parents dutifully foraged for a few minutes and returned with a beakful of insects to feed their hungry chicks. The male and female took turns feeding every few minutes—they must have had quite the brood! It was amazing to be able to observe and photograph these beautiful birds as they went about their daily lives, almost oblivious of us. It was almost meditative.
As the Lead Naturalist Guide for our new Mono Lake Guided Trips program, I love bringing our visitors and supporters into the woods and sharing these incredible nature experiences with them. We know the spots—let us take you there! Here are our upcoming trips for the next two weeks:
Are you on your way to the Mono Basin for a quick escape from the daily grind? We have spaces available on a few guided trips next week that will be the perfect addition to your vacation! Combine multiple trips for an extended guided getaway. The Mono Lake Guided Trip program offers naturalist trips to enhance your knowledge and connection to this beautiful area and its fascinating natural history.
Lee Vining is getting busier as spring brings more visitors with the arrival of fishing season. In preparation for the fishing season opener (April 30), a few more businesses in town opened their doors after a winter of hibernation. I made it my goal today to support as many local businesses as possible, because we all work together as a town to both provide for locals and bring visitors here to boost the town economy and garner love for this community and its surrounding beauty (like Mono Lake!). If people didn’t visit Lee Vining and support the businesses, it would be a lot harder to protect the lake because a whole lot fewer people would know it existed.
The best part of the day was (more…)
It definitely feels like springtime here in the Mono Basin—the days are warming up and the cloudless sky is electric blue; the birds are returning, preparing to croon their overtures, practicing for their unabridged performances; the trees are bursting with minute glittering gems of new leaves that dance ecstatically in the breeze; and the blooming desert peach is glazing the hillsides pink.
When I breathe in, I feel the spring absorbing into my lungs; my skin, my nerves, my blood is rich with it. It is nice to be reminded each spring that regeneration is cyclical, so that we always have something to look forward to even (more…)
If you are planning to come to the Fifteenth Annual Mono Basin Bird Chautauqua, now is the time to gather your ducklings and make sure you’re prepared for registration—you don’t want to miss out on a trip because you haven’t decided which trips to register for! Registration opens on Friday, April 15, at 6:30am sharp. Many field trips fill within minutes, so rise before the sun, sip your coffee with your list of events in hand, and be ready to go at 6:30am. The schedule is up on the website now, and the full program with trip descriptions and leader biographies will be up very soon, so make sure you have your field trip and program choices prioritized for registration day. Check out our Facebook page for real-time updates. We look forward to seeing you in June!
We are excited to share our new Guided Trips program—a new way to visit the Mono Basin and the Eastern Sierra with an experienced guide to get the most out of this incredible place and fall in love with the region like we have, while also supporting Mono Lake.
Our new program has over 45 day-trips scheduled from May to October, ranging in focus from birds to volcanoes and everything in between. Walk with us and learn to identify wildflowers, butterflies, birds, and mammals. Transport your mind into the past while we visit historical Paiute, mining, and logging sites. Slip into the lake in a canoe as the full moon rises—serenity is waiting.
Planning a birding festival takes a significant amount of work and time. We, along with our organizing partners at California State Parks, now have 14 years of experience under our belts, so our Fifteenth Annual Mono Basin Bird Chautauqua planning is progressing smoothly. We’ve assembled a complete schedule in grid form and it is now available to view on the website for all you pre-planners out there. Our program information with trip descriptions and leader biographies will be up on the website in the next two weeks. This will give attendees plenty of time to plan for registration on Friday, April 15. Remember, the Fifteenth Annual Mono Basin Bird Chautauqua is June 17–19 this year. (more…)