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Great Basin Wildflowers field seminar – sign up now!

May 20th, 2009 by Elin, Communications Coordinator
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Instructor Mark Bagley leads the wildflower seminar through fields of desert blooms. Photo by Elin Ljung.

Instructor Mark Bagley leads the 2008 wildflower seminar through fields of desert blooms. Photo by Elin Ljung.

There’s still room in the Great Basin Wildflowers, Plants, & Habitats field seminar (June 12-14)—reserve your space today!

I recently walked along the Lee Vining Creek Trail and saw a beautiful preview of budding flowers: fragrant desert peach, yellow bitterbrush blossoms, a few bright paintbrush, and … more »

Tioga Pass open!

May 19th, 2009 by Elin, Communications Coordinator
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Tioga Pass on May 9, 2009. Photo by Elin Ljung.

Tioga Pass on May 9, 2009. Photo by Elin Ljung.

According to the National Park Service, Tioga Pass will open May 20, 2009 at 10:00 am, conditions permitting!

EDITOR’s NOTE: THE PASS OPENED TUESDAY EVENING MAY 19TH. … more »

Bird walks at County Park

May 18th, 2009 by Mono Lake Committee Staff
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A bird walk at Mono Lake County Park. Photo by Arya Degenhardt.

A bird walk at Mono Lake County Park. Photo by Arya Degenhardt.

The weather is warming up, and the birds are singing and building their nests. Do you wonder what that black-and-orange bird you see on your feeder is? Do you keep hearing a bird singing that you want to learn more about? Or maybe you just want to get out and see what you can find on a beautiful day. Walk with us and we’ll guide you through the various habitats of Mono Lake’s north shore.

Join us at County Park on Sundays and Fridays at 8:00am through September 6. Yesterday on the first bird walk we saw over 25 different species and had a great time!

The naturalist-led walks are 1 ½–2 hours at the County Park / State Reserve boardwalk. Meet at the Mono Lake County Park, five miles north of Lee Vining, just off Hwy 395. Bring binoculars, hat, and sunscreen. No reservations necessary—we’ll see you there!

Pacific Tent Caterpillars

May 18th, 2009 by MLC Administrator
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Date of sighting: Spring 2009

It is a really good year for Pacific Tent Caterpillars. You can see their tents in Bitterbrush and sometimes Desert Peach and other shrubs. They turn into a moth. 1998 was a good year, and I remember one other year since then that was good–but not this good.

Pacific Tent Moth

Pacific Tent Moth

Pacific Tent Moth

Pacific Tent Moth

Pacific Tent Moth

Pacific Tent Moth

South Tufa tours and bird walks happening now!

May 18th, 2009 by Bartshé, Education Director
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South Tufa tours are a great way to learn about Mono Lake! Photo by Greg Reis.

South Tufa tours are a great way to learn about Mono Lake! Photo by Greg Reis.


South Tufa tours

Weekend tours are currently happening on Saturdays and Sundays at 1:00 pm; meet at the South Tufa kiosk/parking lot. Daily tours begin on May 23 at 1:00 pm at the same location.

Bird walks

Sundays and Fridays; now through September 6. Meet at the Mono Lake County Park parking lot at 8:00 am.

See the Calendar of Events for details. The Mono Lake Committee operates under a permits from the Inyo National Forest and the California Department of Parks & Recreation.

Life is a pheromone

May 17th, 2009 by Bartshé, Education Director
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If you’re an adult male Columbia silk moth, it’s all about pheromones. Male Hyalaphora columbia gloveri spend their precious few evenings of adult life … more »

Boat tour operator cancels concession

May 15th, 2009 by Geoff, Executive Director
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The operator of one of Mono Lake’s natural history boat tours recently decided to withdraw from his concession agreement with California State Parks. This means that the lake will be without a motorized wildlife tour opportunity this summer. Canoeing and kayaking tour programs, however, remain in operation.

The operator, known as Mono Lake Boat Tours, has been offering seasonal tours since 2003. The program has typically involved a two-hour-long tour focused on wildlife and natural history and participants have reported the tours are informative and enjoyable.

Mono Lake is a part of the California State Park system, and all commercial ventures on the lake operate under state regulations that protect the lake’s many unique values including tufa, nesting and migratory birds, and water quality. Canoe and kayak programs run by the Mono Lake Committee and Caldera Kayaks, for example, both operate under concession agreements that include … more »

Cinnamon Teal

May 15th, 2009 by tdomf_e48ef
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Date of sighting: May 5th?

A pair of Cinnamon Teal puttered around in DeChambeau Ponds last week.

County Park

May 15th, 2009 by tdomf_e48ef
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Date of sighting: May 15, 2009

A few of the many species at County Park today:

Western Tanager, Bullock’s Oriole, Clark’s Nutcracker, Black-headed Grosbeak, Caspian Tern, Gadwall, nesting Osprey, Common Yellowthroat, Wilson’s Phalarope, American Coot.

It’s definitely colorful over there right now.

Evening Grosbeak Pair

May 15th, 2009 by tdomf_e48ef
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Date of sighting: May 15

A pair of Evening Grosbeaks have been hanging out in the alley between 2nd and 3rd street in Lee Vining at my neighbors feeder for the last few days, as well as three pairs of Black-headed Grosbeaks.

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