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Seasonal Update | The Mono-logue

‘Seasonal Update’ Category

Summer visitor programs at Mono Lake

Sunday, June 26th, 2016 by Adam, Mono Lake Intern
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Summer is officially here! With the passing of the summer solstice, many of the Mono Basin’s unique interpretive programs have begun. Whether you are a birder, astronomer, geologist, or traveling with a family, there is a Mono Basin interpretive program for you.

Join us every Saturday and Sunday morning for canoe tours on Mono Lake. Photo by Sandra Noll.

Join us every Saturday and Sunday morning for canoe tours on Mono Lake. Photo by Sandra Noll.

South Tufa tours: 10:00am, 1:00pm, and 6:00pm every day
Discover the mystery of Mono Lake’s strange water, unique wildlife, and dynamic geology. Tours begin from the South Tufa kiosk and last 1 to 1.5 hours. Free!

Bird walks: 8:00am on Fridays and Sundays
Join a naturalist on an easy stroll through Mono Lake County Park to discover the birds of the Mono Basin. If possible, please bring binoculars for this 1.5–2 hour walk. Free! (more…)

Marina Fire 9:00pm Friday update

Friday, June 24th, 2016 by Arya, Communications Director
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As of 9:00pm tonight (Friday, June 24) the Marina Fire is still burning just north of Lee Vining along Hwy 395. At this time an evacuation warning has been issued for Lee Vining and Mono City. The Tioga Lodge and the Mono Inn have been evacuated. At this time Hwy 395 is closed.

The Marina Fire as seen from the north at around 8pm.

The Marina Fire as seen from the north at around 8pm Friday, June 24, 2016. Photo by Bartshe Miller.

A press release from the Inyo National Forest reports that the fire has grown to about 600 acres. There are approximately 300 personnel on the fire, and the fire has been determined to be human-caused and remains under investigation at this time. (more…)

Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore summer hours

Tuesday, June 14th, 2016 by Elin, Communications Coordinator
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Starting Thursday, June 16, the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore will be open from 8:00am to 9:00pm every day.

The bookstore is busy all summer long---stop by any day, 8:00am to 9:00pm Photo by Erv Nichols.

The bookstore is busy all summer long—stop by any day, 8:00am to 9:00pm Photo by Erv Nichols.

Stop by to get information about what to do in the area, find out where to stay or camp, learn about Mono Lake’s fascinating history, or pick up the newest field guide or a T-shirt. Watch the 30-minute Mono Lake Story film, enjoy paintings and prints in the gallery by local artist Ann Piersall, and enjoy the view of Mono Lake from the front patio.

Our helpful seasonal staff can tell you where to find the best spots for sunset photography, show you menus from local restaurants, and give you advice on where to see birds and wildlife, among many other bits of information. Photo by Erv Nichols.

Our helpful seasonal staff is here with lots of advice to make your trip as fun as possible—stop by! Photo by Erv Nichols.

We’re looking forward to seeing you this summer!

Wildflowers in full bloom along Lee Vining Creek

Saturday, June 4th, 2016 by Sandra, Birding Intern
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Not far from the Mono Lake Committee headquarters and bookstore, the Lee Vining Creek trail offers multi-sensory delights this time of year. Early morning and late evening are best for birding but anytime of day is great for wildflowers.

Yellows predominate from the profuse tiny blossoms of bitterbrush and buckwheat to the stately single stems of western wallflower and from button-like rayless daisies to sunflower-like blossoms within the long fuzzy leaves of woolly mule’s ears.

The Lee Vining Creek trail flanked by yellow bitterbrush and sagebrush. Photo by Sandra Noll.

The Lee Vining Creek trail flanked by yellow bitterbrush and sagebrush. Photo by Sandra Noll.

(more…)

Summer 2016 Mono Lake Newsletter now online

Wednesday, May 25th, 2016 by Arya, Communications Director
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Newsletter-Su-coverA full moon canoe tour on Mono Lake should be on your bucket list. There’s nothing like it. With the cool salty air off the water, the moonglade, the tufa towers even more otherworldly, birds and bats skirting through the quiet open sky—it’s like floating in the middle of a giant unbelievable black and white photograph.

While you’ve got your bucket list out, I recommend turning to page 14 of this Newsletter. The full moon canoe tour is just the beginning—the Mono Lake Committee is offering a whole slew of new guided trips and tours in addition to our regular offerings. We’ve pulled together some of the most knowledgeable, experienced, and fun people around to guide folks who are curious and want to see, learn, and do more in the Mono Basin. (more…)

Memorial Day weekend hours at the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore

Tuesday, May 24th, 2016 by Lily, Information Center & Bookstore Manager
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Spring and California Gulls are in the air, and the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore will be extending its hours for Memorial Day weekend. From Friday, May 27 to Monday, May 30 we will be open from 8:00am to 6:00pm to accommodate holiday travelers.

Stop by during Memorial Day weekend! Photo by Jessica Horn.

Stop by during Memorial Day weekend! Photo by Jessica Horn.

We will return to our normal hours (9:00am–5:00pm) on Tuesday, May 31. We hope to see you here soon!

Native plant conditions at Mill Creek improve

Monday, May 23rd, 2016 by Robbie, Project Specialist
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On May 18, 2015 I wanted to assess the types and quantities of invasive plants that were present at Mill Creek. Melilotus albus (sweet clover) was quickly identified as the most prolific and abundant invasive plant species present along Mill Creek, which I documented with GPS points and photos. With the help of volunteers and school groups, we were able to remove over 730 pounds of sweet clover from Mill Creek in 2015 from mid-June to mid-August by manually pulling and clipping the invasive plants. Now in 2016 the difference is noticeable.

Image on the left shows an island in Mill Creek totally dominated by invasive Sweet Clover on May 18th, 2015. The image on the right shows the same island on May 13th, 2016 with only a small patch of Sweet Clover in the center of the island; the rest of the vegetation consists of native clovers, moss, and willow saplings.

Image on the left shows an island in Mill Creek totally dominated by invasive sweet clover on May 18, 2015. The image on the right shows the same island on May 13, 2016 with only a small patch of sweet clover in the center of the island; the rest of the vegetation consists of native clovers, moss, grass, and willow saplings. Photos by Robbie Di Paolo.

Areas of Mill Creek where we focused sweet clover removal efforts in 2015 are now showing native plants retaking the prized riparian habitat in 2016 (as demonstrated by the photo above), which is exactly what we want to be seeing.

Unfortunately, we can’t take all the credit. Seasonal variation has a big impact on what plants dominate a landscape year to year and compared to the last three years, we had much more snow this year. That snow probably helped a lot with inhibiting sweet clover growth and development. But I believe with continued efforts, we are giving the native plants a chance to secure their place along Mill Creek for years to come.

Special thanks to outdoor clothing company Patagonia Inc. for their support of the Mono Lake Committee’s restoration stewardship program.

Free bird walks at Mono Lake County Park begin this weekend

Thursday, May 19th, 2016 by Sandra, Birding Intern
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Several events mark the beginning of the Mono Lake Committee’s summer season. One of them is the start of weekend bird-walks at Mono Lake County Park, a joint program with California State Parks.

A Western Tanager in its brilliant breeding plumage.  Photo by Sandra Noll.

A Western Tanager in its brilliant breeding plumage. Photo by Sandra Noll.

You are invited to join experienced guides every Friday and Sunday at 8:00am (meet at the County Park parking lot) for a two-hour guided walk through a variety of habitats including an aging woodland with dead snags, sagebrush scrub, grassland, riparian oasis, and the shore of Mono Lake. As you can imagine, this variety of habitats supports a wide variety of birds.

These following photos of a few of the species seen on a preview walk earlier this week are (more…)

Tioga Pass opening today at noon

Wednesday, May 18th, 2016 by Elin, Communications Coordinator
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News from Yosemite National Park: Tioga Pass (Highway 120) will open all the way through the park today at noon.

Mono Lake seen from the Yosemite high country. Photo courtesy of karlcbl via Instagram.

Mono Lake seen from the Yosemite high country. Photo courtesy of karlcbl via Instagram.

This is good news for us Eastsiders who are eager to visit the Yosemite high country, and for folks on the west side who have been waiting to visit Mono Lake all winter. The spring weather is perfect these days—come on over!

See more information about hiking conditions, campgrounds, and services from the National Park Service press release below: (more…)

Lower gate on Highway 120 opens; Tioga Pass remains closed

Thursday, May 12th, 2016 by Andrew, Canoe Coordinator
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Near Tioga Pass, the snow is over six feet deep from the plowing operations. Photo by Andrew Youssef.

Near Tioga Pass, the snow is over six feet deep along the road. Photo by Andrew Youssef.

This morning, Caltrans opened the lower gate on Highway 120 up to Tioga Pass. Highway 120 is still closed, however, beyond Tioga Pass into Yosemite National Park.

I excitedly made the trip up the road during my lunch break today for the first time since November and found considerable snow still on the ground above 9,000 feet (more…)

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