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…)
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.
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…)
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.
Each trip is $75 per person or $65 for members. The price of your ticket benefits Mono Lake! (more…)
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.
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…)
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.
Here’s a look at our guided trips in September: (more…)
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 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…)
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.
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…)
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!
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…)
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…)