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The Mono-logue » Plants

‘Plants’ Category

Resource damage below Tioga Lodge: Observations and photographs

Friday, November 18th, 2016 by Nora, Lead Naturalist Guide
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In early November I ventured down to the shoreline of Mono Lake below the Tioga Lodge to use my former-biologist eyes to assess the damage done to State Park land and Post Office Creek.

In late October a heavy excavator tore up State Park land along the shore of Mono Lake below Tioga Lodge and Highway 395. Photo by Bartshe Miller.

In late October a heavy excavator tore up State Park land along the shore of Mono Lake below Tioga Lodge and Highway 395. Photo by Bartshe Miller.

It was interesting to contrast the damage caused by the Marina Fire with the damage caused by heavy machinery; I’m sure the combination of the two events is even more detrimental. While I made observations and took photographs, I was especially concerned by two things—the bird habitat adjacent to the excavation and the wide swath of flood water rushing down from what used to be a creek channel that now spreads the water across the landscape haphazardly on it’s way to Mono Lake. (more…)

Fall color along Mono Lake’s tributary streams

Sunday, October 9th, 2016 by Elin, Communications Coordinator
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Mono Lake’s tributary streams are wondrous in every season. Right now their bright foliage runs like ribbons of fire from the folds of the Sierra all the way to the shores of Mono Lake.

Aspens are lighting up along Mono Lake's tributary streams. Photo from October 7, 2016 by Nora Livingston.

Aspens are lighting up along Mono Lake’s tributary streams. Photo from October 7, 2016 by Nora Livingston.

Dry for decades due to excessive water diversions by the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power, Mono Basin streams were rewatered and brought back to life thanks to (more…)

Seminar spotlight: Mono Basin Fall Photography

Wednesday, October 5th, 2016 by Elin, Communications Coordinator
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Mono Lake and the surrounding basin is a magnet for nature photographers. Professionals and amateurs alike are drawn to the unique, otherworldly landscapes, striking canyons, and the dynamic light often present. The abundant opportunities provide the perfect outdoor classroom to learn the fine art of landscape photography.

Mono Basin Fall Photography • October 11–13 • $275 per person/$250 for members • sign up here

Lundy Canyon in autumn. Photo courtesy of Robb Hirsch.

Lundy Canyon in autumn. Photo courtesy of Robb Hirsch.

Join professional photographer Robb Hirsch as he teaches participants the process of creating the strongest possible images. Everybody has an individual perspective (more…)

Guided fall color trips at Mono Lake

Tuesday, October 4th, 2016 by Nora, Lead Naturalist Guide
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Our Guided Trip program offers a Fall Color Foray trip—a half-day guided trip that emphasizes ecology and conservation of aspen during visits to beautiful groves in the peak of their color dance.

The Sierra Nevada in the background with a dusting of snow!

Fall color glows east of the Sierra Nevada. Photo by Nora Livingston.

Click on the dates to sign up: October 13, 3:00–7:00pm  October 15, 8:00am–12:00noon  October 18, 8:00am–12:00noon  October 19, 3:00–7:00pm

Each trip is $75 per person or $65 for members. The price of your ticket benefits Mono Lake! (more…)

Fall colors are glorious at Mono Lake right now

Thursday, September 29th, 2016 by Nora, Lead Naturalist Guide
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Fall is officially here! Crisp air, blue skies, and multicolored aspen groves bring visitors from all over to enjoy the Mono Basin and soak up the beauty of the area as the aspen trees turn from glittering green to gold, clementine, and crimson.

Green and golden aspens at Parker Lake, September 29, 2016. Photo courtesy of Mary Ljung.

Green and golden aspens at Parker Lake, September 29, 2016. Photo courtesy of Mary Ljung.

Why do leaves change color in fall? The short story is that after spending all summer photosynthesizing and storing sugars for new growth next spring, leaves eventually get blocked from transporting nutrients in and out towards the branches and buds, and the chlorophyll (the green pigment that is essential (more…)

Guiding you to the past at Mono Lake

Tuesday, September 6th, 2016 by Nora, Lead Naturalist Guide
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The season is winding down, birds are heading south to their wintering grounds, and fall is just around the corner. Our next two months of guided trips will focus on catching up with those birds before they disappear and also turning our attention to the ghosts that never leave: the historic places and buildings that tell almost invisible tales of the Mono Basin that existed many years ago. Come explore the shores of Mono Lake with us and refocus your eyes towards the past to imagine what life here was like long before we were born.

The Bodie Jail, photo by Nora Livingston.

The Bodie jail. Photo by Nora Livingston.

Here’s a look at our guided trips in September: (more…)

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

Sunday, 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…)

Destruction and renewal

Wednesday, August 10th, 2016 by Mono Lake Committee Staff
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This post was written by Sandra Noll, Birding Intern in 2014, 2015, & 2016.

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…)

In the flowers: The Mono Basin in full bloom

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016 by Mono Lake Committee Staff
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This post was written by Adam Dalton, 2014 & 2016 Mono Lake Intern.

When I signed the Mono Lake intern employment contract early this summer, I noticed the document stated I was obliged to, “complete other tasks as necessary.” Never did I imagine that a “necessary task” would comprise of hiking through beautiful high-elevation meadows, conifer-flanked streams, and the Californian high desert in search of wildflowers!

The high elevations of the Mono Basin are in bloom right now. Come for a visit and check them out! Photo by Adam Dalton.

The high elevations of the Mono Basin are in bloom right now. Come for a visit and check them out! Photo by Adam Dalton.

Although sometimes overlooked in favor of birds, fish, trees, or other aspects of the natural environment, the Eastern Sierra’s small-yet-wonderful wildflowers (more…)

Guided Trips in August: Volcanoes, natural history, birding, and more

Thursday, July 28th, 2016 by Nora, Lead Naturalist Guide
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A Sierra wave sunset over Mono City. Photo by Nora Livingston.

A Sierra wave sunset over Mono City. Photo by Nora Livingston.

It’s getting to be that time of summer when thunderstorms roll through in the afternoon and the clouds make for some lovely sunsets. It’s a great time to visit the Mono Basin! Spend your morning doing something fun (like a guided trip!) and spend your afternoons watching the storms sweep through from the window of a coffee shop or the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore, then watch the tumultuous sky turn peach and gold and charcoal.

We have some fun guided trips for you to join in on, coming up in the next three weeks: (more…)

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