today at mono lake

the mono-logue

mono lake live

live webcam images

calendar of events

username:

password:

click here for
"remember me"

register
login help


The Mono-logue


Major Categories   Search Blog:

Seasonal Update | The Mono-logue

‘Seasonal Update’ Category

Guided canoe tours: The best way to experience Mono Lake

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015 by Sara, Mono Lake Intern
Share...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on LinkedInShare on RedditShare on TumblrEmail this to someone

If you’re a Mono Lake Intern, mornings start early on the weekends. Six-thirty finds three sleepy interns and the Canoe Coordinator all making their way, eyes half-closed, through the crisp morning air in Lee Vining to meet at the back door of the Mono Lake Committee. Despite the early hour and memories of warm and cozy beds, spirits are high. It’s canoe tour day!

Caption caption. Photo by Erv Nichols.

Canoe tour days involve a sunrise wake-up call for Mono Lake Interns. Luckily, sunrise is one of Mono Lake’s best times of day. Photo by Erv Nichols.

Every Saturday and Sunday the ritual repeats. Canoe days are hard work. It takes a lot of energy to load and unload the fleet of shiny silver canoes from the canoe truck, to spend the entire day paddling Mono Lake’s (hopefully!) glassy waters, and all the while maintain the excitement of sharing the wonders of the Mono Basin with a fresh group of visitors—three times in a row. Yet there isn’t one among us who would even think about trading a canoe tour shift. On days like this, we all feel like we have the best job in the world. (more…)

The Mono Basin’s wettest July since 1965

Thursday, July 16th, 2015 by Greg, Information & Restoration Specialist
Share...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on LinkedInShare on RedditShare on TumblrEmail this to someone

At the Cain Ranch weather station, five miles south of Lee Vining, as of July 13, 1.57 inches of rain had fallen in July. That makes this month already the second-wettest July on record after the 1.98 inches of rain in July 1965. Records at this location began in 1931. Rain fell on all but two days between July 1 and 10, and while it has been dry there since July 10, it still has been raining in other parts of the Mono Basin almost every day.

The wet July continues the wet May-June centered on Mono County. This map from the Western Regional Climate Center shows April-June precipitation in percent of average.

This wet July continues the wet May–June centered on Mono County. This map from the Western Regional Climate Center shows April–June precipitation in percent of average.

Lee Vining Creek above the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (DWP) diversion dam experienced its peak flow of about 124 cubic feet per second on July 11, from rain and melting fresh snow. Below the dam, the minimum flow is being released, and the floodwaters are being diverted to Grant Lake Reservoir, which has been slowly rising since May.

Aside from brief floods due to thunderstorms, the Mono Basin’s creeks are dropping to the very low levels that were otherwise expected this summer. If the thunderstorms stop, we will start seeing new low flow records later this month, especially in watersheds without glaciers, such as Walker Creek. The April–September snowmelt runoff forecast issued by DWP in May predicted 19% of average runoff, with a lower bound of 7% and an upper bound of 32%. Nineteen percent is less than half of the runoff measured in 1977, the driest year on record; 32% is still much drier than the driest year on record. Thanks to the recent wet weather, Mono Basin runoff is on track to reach 32%.

July, the new January?

Saturday, July 11th, 2015 by Bartshé, Education Director
Share...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on LinkedInShare on RedditShare on TumblrEmail this to someone

After four years of drought in California snow has become a rare sight in the Sierra Nevada, but in July?! Last week an upper-level low-pressure system moved westward across California and generated thunderstorms, rain, hail, and a local dose of real snow to the Tioga Pass region, especially in the Lee Vining Creek headwaters. The area around Saddlebag Lake, in particular, received a solid coating of snow, estimated between 6-10″ in the early morning hours of July 9. The morning was reminiscent of January, except for highlights of bright green vegetation struggling through an unfamiliar white blanket. With a strong El Nino building in the Pacific, might this be a harbinger of the winter ahead? California, the Sierra Nevada, and Mono Lake are greatly in need of anything close to a normal snowpack, but as this past week illustrates, there is no normal with precipitation in California, just variability.

Mt. Dana, above Tioga Pass on July 9, 2015.

Mt. Dana, above Tioga Pass on July 9, 2015.

New snow above Saddlebag Lake

Mt. Excelsior and ridge in fresh snow behind Saddlebag Lake, July 9, 2015.

Saddlebag Lake and the Tioga Ridge

Saddlebag Lake, Shepherd Crest (upper-left) and the Tioga Ridge on July 9, 2015. Note heavy snow near the ridge and Dore Pass (from upper-middle to upper- right). Photo by Bartshe Miller.

Penstemon newberryi

Mountain Pride, Penstemon newberryi, in fresh snow, July 9, 2015. Photo by Bartshe Miller.

Volunteer opp: remove invasive plants on Mill Creek

Thursday, July 9th, 2015 by Matt, Mono Lake Intern
Share...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on LinkedInShare on RedditShare on TumblrEmail this to someone

An important piece of the Mono Lake Committee’s mission is to restore Mono Lake’s tributary streams and their riparian (streamside) habitats. These environments provide a lush area for many of the native plants of the Mono Basin to grow and flourish. Since the streams were damaged by years of excessive water diversions, they are in the process of recovering, and non-native invasive plants can sometimes encroach, outcompete the native vegetation, and slow the restoration process.

invasives - native cow clower - RDi IMG_0569

Native cow clover recolonizing riparian habitat along Mill Creek. Photo by Robert Di Paolo.

This summer the Mono Lake Committee is continues to focus on removing invasive plants along Mill Creek, the third largest tributary to Mono Lake located in the north Mono Basin. White sweet clover is the main target as this fast-growing weed  quickly dominates sections of Mill Creek and poses the greatest threat to native plants. Already this summer we have removed over 300 pounds of invasive white sweet clover and the native flowers and plants are noticeably establishing in the previously invaded habitat, which is both encouraging and beautiful to witness.

invasives 2014-08-04 high country plants seminar RD_1639

Botanist Ann Howald will join the restoration crew on July 21st to talk about rare plants and conservation issues. Photo by Robert Di Paolo.

Come join us this July on Tuesday the 14th and Tuesday the 21st to see for yourself and to help keep this important habitat healthy, beautiful, and diverse. On the 21st we will be accompanied by guest naturalist Ann Howald, a botanist who specializes in rare plants and conservation issues and who has lead the High Country Plant Field Seminar for the Mono Lake Committee for over a decade. She has an amazing wealth of knowledge of the Sierra Nevada and this will be a rare chance to pick her brain.

To join us: meet at 8:30 am at the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore,  located on the corner of Highway 395 and Third Street in Lee Vining. If you are interested in volunteering for either of the restoration events this July or if you have any questions about July or August events, please contact Robbie Di Paolo at (760) 647-6386 x122.

invasives 2015-07-01 OEC invasive activity MB_1666

Outdoor Education Center participants, Pacoima Beautiful, after a day of invasive plant removal. Photo by Melissa Boyd.

The Mono Basin’s top ten June birds

Saturday, July 4th, 2015 by Sandra, Birding Intern
Share...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on LinkedInShare on RedditShare on TumblrEmail this to someone

The month of June has flown and it’s time to unveil the top ten bird encounters; birds seen within a half-hour driving radius of the Mono Lake Committee headquarters. It was a great month enhanced by the seasonal hatching and fledging young and by sightings at the 14th annual Mono Basin Bird Chautauqua held June 19–21.

A Mountain Bluebird with food for its hungry nestlings.  Photo by Erv Nichols.

A Mountain Bluebird with food for its hungry nestlings. Photo by Erv Nichols.

1. Northern Saw-whet Owl—a cavity nest with several owlets was discovered in the Obsidian Dome area during the Bird Chautauqua
2. Mountain Bluebirds—nesting behind the gas station at south entrance to June Lake Loop (more…)

Extreme precipitation amidst extreme drought

Friday, July 3rd, 2015 by Greg, Information & Restoration Specialist
Share...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on LinkedInShare on RedditShare on TumblrEmail this to someone
On the evening of July 1st, rain falling on Mono Lake during thunderstorms could be heard two miles away. Photo by Geoff McQuilkin.

On the evening of July 1st, rain falling on Mono Lake during thunderstorms could be heard two miles away. Photo by Geoff McQuilkin.

The Mono Basin is a land of extremes, and this year’s weather is no exception. Temperatures since January are the warmest on record. October–March precipitation in Lee Vining was the lowest on record. April–September precipitation, on the other hand, already is the highest on record—and we are only halfway through that time period! This water year (October 1, 2014–September 30, 2015) is the first time Apr–Sept precipitation has exceeded Oct–Mar. This reversal of the warm and cold season Mediterranean precipitation patterns has allowed invasive plants like cheatgrass to (more…)

Come one, come all…. Summer tours are in full swing in the Mono Basin!

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015 by Tina, Mono Lake Intern
Share...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on LinkedInShare on RedditShare on TumblrEmail this to someone

Daily walking tours and weekend canoe tours are underway for the season! Come join us and learn the natural and political history of Mono Lake and the surrounding area, discover Panum Crater, look for birds, or explore the night sky. There is an activity for everyone….

Join Mono Lake Committee and State Park birders on Friday and Sunday mornings at 8:00am for a free guided bird walk at County Park. Photo by Elin Ljung.

Join Mono Lake Committee and State Park birders at County Park on Friday and Sunday mornings at 8:00am for a free guided bird walk. Photo by Elin Ljung.

Free activities:

South Tufa Walk: Daily tours at 10:00am, 1:00pm, and 6:00pm. Meet at the South Tufa kiosk.
Bird Walk: Sunday and Friday mornings at 8:00am. Meet at Mono Lake County Park.
Panum Crater Walk: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday mornings at 10:00am. Meet at Panum Crater parking lot. (more…)

Book your guided canoe tour on Mono Lake for the summer

Friday, June 26th, 2015 by Lily, Canoe Coordinator
Share...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on LinkedInShare on RedditShare on TumblrEmail this to someone

Join the Mono Lake Committee on the lake for a guided canoe tour this summer!

Photo courtesy of the American River Conservancy.

Paddle among tufa towers, catch brine shrimp, see bubbling underwater springs, and taste alkali flies on a guided canoe tour with the Mono Lake Committee. Photo courtesy of the American River Conservancy.

Whether you are brand new to paddling or a seasoned veteran of the lake, you are welcome to participate in our guided programs. Floating in a canoe is one of the best ways to take in Mono Lake. Peer down into the water to see bubbling tufa towers and clouds of brine shrimp and enjoy the mountain views while migratory birds flock nearby. Our friendly canoe guides (more…)

Mono Lake Committee summer hours begin this Thursday: Open 8:00am to 9:00pm every day

Tuesday, June 16th, 2015 by Terry, Information Center & Bookstore Manager
Share...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on LinkedInShare on RedditShare on TumblrEmail this to someone

 

bookstore-summer-hours-just-gull

The summer travel season in the Eastern Sierra brings migrants and pilgrims.

The birds, attuned to nature’s siren song, have winged their way to the Mono Basin. The long days and warm nights bring the fecundity back to the brush and pines. These feathered migrants perch, peck, and peruse our shores and sage, feeding their young in hope for the next generation. Blue, black, yellow, green, orange, red, and white tufted flyers startle across skies.

Likewise, with open passes and the promise of adventure, come the pilgrims. Join them.

Starting Thursday, June 18 the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore will be open from 8:00am to 9:00pm every day. Pilgrims are welcome.

Looking for birds, flowers, fish, or trails? Need a book, bottle, or bric-a-brac? Come see us. All our books and T-shirts are gluten free.

The days are long but summer is short.

Caltrans rockfall project now in progress

Monday, June 15th, 2015 by Lisa, Eastern Sierra Policy Director
Share...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on LinkedInShare on RedditShare on TumblrEmail this to someone

After three years of meetings and discussions, in-depth analysis and testing, expert recommendations and collaboration, the Lee Vining Rockfall Safety Project is underway.

The Lee Vining Rockfall Safety Project will reduce rocks falling onto the highway while improving the visual quality of old roadcuts at the same time. Photo by Arya Degenhardt.

The Lee Vining Rockfall Safety Project will reduce rocks falling onto the highway while improving the visual quality of old roadcuts at the same time. Photo by Arya Degenhardt.

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) project will improve motorist safety by reducing rockfall incidents along a one-mile section of Highway 395 near Old Marina. The project will stabilize and revegetate six eroded slopes using a combination of anchored mesh, soil rehabilitation, and revegetation tailored specifically to the Mono Basin’s unique soil composition. (more…)

The Mono-logue is powered by Wordpress
Subscribe to entries with RSS or by Email. Subscribe to comments (RSS).

Find us on Facebook

 

Follow us on Twitter

 

Print this page
print

search | contact us | site map 
 

MLC Logo

© 2015 mono lake committee
The Mono Lake Committee is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.


]]>