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Summer activities on the Mono Lake Committee bookstore patio

Thursday, August 29th, 2019 by AnnaLisa, Mono Lake Intern

As the summer drifts steadily onward, seasonal staff are making the most of the long days and increased visitation to Lee Vining by offering activities and natural history interpretation on the patio outside of the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore.

Look for the table out in front of the Mono Lake Committee bookstore—we’re there with games, activities, and answers to your questions. Photo by AnnaLisa Mayer.

Stopping beneath a welcome shade tent, as the August sun beats down on the concrete inlay of Mono Lake, passersby can play family-friendly games such as Wildflower Bingo and Shrimp Toss, all the while learning about the story of the lake and the local ecology. If (more…)

Only one weekend left for free bird walks at County Park and Lundy Canyon

Wednesday, August 28th, 2019 by Krista, Birding Intern

As I reflect on the weekly County Park and Lundy Canyon bird walks from this past season, it is difficult to distill all the feathered moments into a few short paragraphs that convey what a wonderful experience it all has been. Join us this weekend for the last free bird walks of the season!

Join us on Friday and Sunday to bird Mono Lake County Park and the State Natural Reserve boardwalk. Photo by Elin Ljung.

This season has quite literally “flown” by, and has left me in a daze from all the twisting phalarope murmurations and the seasonal changes in the local bird populations. I felt the peak of (more…)

Canoe with the osprey at Mono Lake this weekend

Tuesday, August 27th, 2019 by Alison, Canoe Coordinator

One of the perks of working as the Canoe Coordinator for the Mono Lake Committee is that I get to closely observe the nesting osprey at Mono Lake. Just like me, the osprey usually arrive at Mono Lake in late spring. Canoe tours don’t start until mid-June each summer, so for the first month I only observed the birds from the shore at South Tufa.

A canoe tour paddles past Pirate Ship Tufa on a calm morning. Photo by Andrew Youssef.

Once canoe tours start, though, I have the unique opportunity to see these birds from the water. There are approximately 16 pairs of nesting osprey at Mono Lake, all of which nest on the tufa islands, and humans must stay at least 250 yards away from the nests at all times. The only exception to this rule is (more…)

Join us for birding & geology at Mono Lake this Labor Day weekend

Monday, August 26th, 2019 by Krista, Birding Intern

This coming weekend we’re offering three one-day seminars for a full weekend of natural history at Mono Lake. Snap up the last few spaces in Birding the White Mountains on Friday, Volcanism of the Mono Basin on Saturday, and Shorebird Migration on Sunday!

Join Lead Naturalist Guide Nora Livingston for three seminars over Labor Day weekend. Photo courtesy of Bob Yates.

Birding the White Mountains • August 30 • 1 space left!

The gradient from the Owens Valley up to the White Mountains provides a great swath of diverse habitat, from desert oasis up to high‐elevation pinyon‐juniper woodland. During this popular field seminar we will (more…)

16th annual Ghosts of the Sagebrush Tour to celebrate women in Mono Basin history

Sunday, August 18th, 2019 by Rose, Education Director

(Click to enlarge.)

Too often phenomenal women can be lost in the history books, but not in the Mono Basin.

The 16th annual Ghosts of the Sagebrush event, hosted by the Mono Basin Historical Society, is celebrating amazing women who had a hand in shaping the Mono Basin between 1900 and 1950. Over the two-day event, attendees will hear stories about Paiute women who “became known for their exceedingly fine, visually stunning, and complex polychrome baskets,” as well as fearless first female guides and ranchers. (more…)

Space available in upcoming Mono Basin geology field seminars

Monday, August 12th, 2019 by AnnaLisa, Mono Lake Intern

A highly popular field seminar offering, Geology of the Mono Basin: Land of Fire & Ice focuses on the diverse and spectacular geology of Mono Lake, the Mono Craters, Black Point, Lee Vining Canyon, Tioga Pass and more.

Mono Basin Geology: Land of Fire & Ice • August 16–18 and September 20–22 • $182 per person/$167 for members

Spaces are open in this year’s Mono Basin Geology field seminars, led by Yosemite National Park geologist Greg Stock. Photo by Robbie Di Paolo.

Greg Stock leads, presenting accessible and engaging insight into the processes which formed these landscapes as they appear today. Yosemite National Park’s first-ever (more…)

Video of migratory phalaropes at Mono Lake

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2019 by Elin, Communications Coordinator

On Saturday morning canoe tour participants were treated to a spectacular show by migratory phalaropes, which are arriving to the lake by the thousands!

Over their four- to six-week stay at Mono Lake, the phalaropes molt into a new set of feathers and double their weight in preparation for their continued migration. From here, they fly 3,000 miles non-stop to South America—an epic journey fueled almost entirely by Mono Lake’s alkali flies and brine shrimp. With just a quick walk down to South Tufa, you too may get a front-row seat to their incredible aerial performance!

Thank you to our friends at New West Studios for generously providing the music in the video.

Mono Lake in the news: ABC10

Friday, July 12th, 2019 by Elin, Communications Coordinator

There’s a new video out featuring two Committee staff—Lead Naturalist Guide Nora Livingston and Canoe Coordinator Alison Kaplan! ABC10’s John Bartell visited Mono Lake last month to bring its unique natural history and fascinating political history to viewers of his “Bartell’s Backroads” series:

Nora leads field seminars and custom guided trips on birds, wildflowers, history, geology, and more. Alison leads the Mono Lake canoe tours which are offered on weekend mornings all summer.

This video includes footage taken by a drone, which was obtained under permit. Anyone wishing to fly a drone at Mono Lake for any reason must obtain a permit ahead of time from the Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve.

Join us on a bird walk in Lundy Canyon

Saturday, July 6th, 2019 by Krista, Birding Intern

Lundy Canyon, with its stunning talus slope walls, waterfalls, and wildflowers, is brimming with bird life! Please join us there for a free bird walk every Saturday at 8:00am.

A House Wren removing a fecal sac from its cavity nest. Photo courtesy of Rick Spanel.

We meet in front of the Lundy Lake Resort and the walk lasts about an hour and a half to two hours. The walk begins in willow and cottonwood habitat, transitions into a mixed riparian woodland, and ends at a beaver pond (more…)

See chipmunks, kangaroo rats, and more up close on the Mono Basin Mammals field seminar

Friday, July 5th, 2019 by Elin, Communications Coordinator

Small mammals like kangaroo rats, chipmunks, squirrels, and mice live all around us here in the Mono Basin, but it’s often tough to get a good look at them. If you’re interested in seeing the Mono Basin’s small mammals up close (you might even get to hold one!), sign up now for the Mono Basin Mammals field seminar.

Mono Basin Mammals • July 19–21 • $182 per person/$167 for members • view full itinerary here • sign up here

See the small, furry mammals of the Mono Basin up close during this field seminar. Photo by Joslyn Rogers.

If you have never seen the tuft on a kangaroo rat’s tail, been able to compare the stripes of different chipmunk species, or watched families of pikas busily gathering grass for the winter (more…)

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The Mono Lake Committee is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.