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Seasonal Update | The Mono-logue

‘Seasonal Update’ Category

There’s still time to register for the Tioga Pass Run….

Thursday, August 28th, 2014 by Lily, Mono Lake Intern

Calling all runners and walkers! It’s not too late to register for the 34th annual Tioga Pass Run, taking place on Sunday, September 7.

Runners make their way up the hill during the 2013 Tioga Pass Run. Photo courtesy of Dick Erb.

Come join our outdoor-loving community of runners and walkers by participating in this year’s run. The Tioga Pass Run is the longest continuously-occurring race in the Eastern Sierra—every year since 1980—and is hosted by the Mono Lake Committee. Participants will gain 3,200 feet of elevation over a 12.4-mile-long (more…)

Lessons the Mono Basin taught me

Saturday, August 23rd, 2014 by Adam, Mono Lake Intern

With the fall collegiate semester fast approaching, the time is coming for me to bid an all-too-soon farewell to the astounding Mono Basin and State of California and head back to the rolling plains of Iowa.

"Go east, young man!" Adam, right, along with Melissa, Sandra, Erica, Barb, and Robbie, gets oriented to the Mono Basin on an aqueduct tour with Greg (pointing). Photo by Erv Nichols.

After completing my first Mono-logue post, which narrated the unlikely path I took to the Eastern Sierra, I intended to write a follow-up, which would tell of my adventures in California. However, I have been using the time I have had in the Golden State to the fullest (more…)

Summer thunderstorms give Mono Lake and its tributaries a drink—and a break

Thursday, August 21st, 2014 by Greg, Information & Restoration Specialist

We were expecting the worst for streamflows this summer. Runoff at 48% of average this year—as forecasted in April, and even lower than the last two dry years—would make 2014 the driest year of the last three, adding up to the three driest consecutive years on record for runoff in the Mono Basin.

Late July and early August thunderstorms have brought important water to Mono Lake during this drought. Photo by Sandra Noll.

But then the summer thunderstorms came, dropping an inch and a half of rain. The late July and early August rains extended the late July streamflows into mid-August, buying about 3–4 weeks of extra time at or above the late July flows. For most creeks, this means that the late July and early August flows this year ended up actually higher than last year. Click on the graphs below to enlarge. (more…)

My year in the Mono Basin

Monday, August 18th, 2014 by Emma, Project Specialist

When I began working for the Mono Lake Committee in June 2013, I was only intending to stay for the summer season. As a recent college graduate with no other concrete plans, I had hoped that I could turn my internship into a longer-term gig—but I had no idea if that would be possible.

Mono Lake Committee staff enjoy a break during the annual staff retreat. The staff retreat is a time for us to make plans for the upcoming year. Photo by Santiago Escruceria.

Then, in August, I was offered the position of Project Specialist and I made plans to stay on for the winter. The winter in Lee Vining held many new and different experiences from summer life. The town quiets down significantly but the Committee is still buzzing with long-term planning, fundraising, and hundreds of mail orders for the holiday season. Then slowly, as the days began growing longer again and the staff began gearing up for the upcoming flurry of activity, all I could think about was summer. (more…)

Lee Vining Creek Diversion Dam work planned for September through November

Thursday, August 14th, 2014 by Greg, Information & Restoration Specialist

If you are planning a fishing trip to the Lee Vining Creek diversion pond this fall, there will be some construction activity impacting your experience.

This fall there will be construction at the Lee Vining Creek diversion pond, a popular fishing site. Photo by Arya Degnhardt.

The Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (DWP) is going to be working on the Lee Vining Creek facility in September because it discovered it can’t lower the spill gate all the way because sediment has accumulated underneath it. DWP has to put in a (more…)

A new generation speaks for Mono Lake

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014 by Erv, Birding Intern

As Birding Interns, my partner Sandra and I are the leaders of all things birding here at the Mono Lake Committee, at least for the summer. And while it is true most people imagine bird watchers, (or birders, as we prefer to be called) as rather strange looking older folks with floppy hats and expensive binoculars around their necks staring into the tree tops, this is not always the case.

A male Lazuli Bunting in a photo that Tazlinda took through the spotting scope with her smartphone!

Our Friday morning bird walks at Mono Lake County Park usually include folks with a wide range of ages. But I must admit, most are closer to than farther from retirement age.

With that said, it’s always a pleasure to have young people along for what may be their first outing to observe the (more…)

Refreshments with Refreshing ‘Ologists: Drought and extreme weather of the Eastern Sierra, and will El Niño save us?

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014 by Julie, Mono Lake Intern

Noticed a change in weather patterns lately during this rainy August? But wait, aren’t we still in a drought?

Panorama of the Mono Basin from the north side of Mono Lake. Photo by Erv Nichols.

Join us this Wednesday at 4:00pm in the Mono Lake Committee gallery for this week’s Refreshments with Refreshing ‘Ologists lecture comparing our current drought to other dry periods in both modern times and in the pre-instrumented record.

Chris Smallcomb, Warning Coordination Meteorologist at the National Weather Service forecast office in Reno, Nevada will be sharing the details of how this drought has changed our extreme weather in the Eastern Sierra. Chris is the primary liaison between the NWS and their emergency management, public safety, and media partners in eastern California and western Nevada. He also gives briefings to partners ahead of high-impact weather events and gives talks to the public on extreme weather and preparedness. Not only will Chris discuss the recent weather patterns, he will also take a look at the latest projections for the upcoming winter, including whether or not El Niño will bring us out of drought. We look forward to seeing you there!

Skip the hassle of driving into Yosemite … take the YARTS shuttle instead

Sunday, August 10th, 2014 by Adam, Mono Lake Intern

“Yosemite Valley, to me, is always a sunrise, a glitter of green and golden wonder in a vast edifice of stone and space.” —Ansel Adams

You could drive ... but why? Take the YARTS shuttle into Yosemite instead. Photo courtesy of YARTS.

Does the following scene resonate with you? After hours of driving from a far-flung locale you excitedly motor up Tioga Pass with great anticipation of arriving at Yosemite National Park and enjoying the perfect vacation, but unfortunately, as you near the gate you see it: the looming wall of traffic! (more…)

The Mono Basin’s top 10 July birds

Saturday, August 2nd, 2014 by Sandra, Birding Intern

We keep a running list of bird sightings on the “bird board” in the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore, clearing it each month to make room for more sightings.

Adult and fledgling Loggerhead Shrike perched together. Adult birds continue to provide supplemental food for a week or more after their chicks fledge while the young learn to forage for themselves. Photo by Erv Nichols.

Here’s a list of July’s notable bird sightings: (more…)

Join us for two Mono Lake restoration events this July

Thursday, July 10th, 2014 by Emma, Project Specialist

If you frequent the Mono-logue, you’re probably invested in helping Mono Lake and its tributary streams recover. As always, donations and member support are welcome and necessary aspects of protecting and restoring Mono Lake. But if you’re looking to help Mono Lake in a more hands-on way, consider joining us on Wednesday, July 16 or Wednesday, July 23 for a restoration field day!

The Mono Lake Committee seasonal staff after pulling invasive sweet clover on Mill Creek. Photo by Emma Oschrin.

For our restoration field days, volunteers help with various projects at Mono Lake and along the streams. This July, we’ll be having two restoration days along Mill Creek. Volunteers and Mono Lake Committee staff will be lending a helping hand to the streams by removing invasive plant species that are currently taking up space in streamside habitat. (more…)

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