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A glimpse into Lee Vining’s nightlife: Foxes, raccoons, and more!

October 21st, 2018 by Nora, Lead Naturalist Guide
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Last week, diners at Epic Cafe at the south end of town observed a red fox running through the cafe’s lawn at night, sniffing for scraps dropped by messy eaters.

Here’s the red fox seen at Epic Cafe. Notice its black ears, black feet, and white tip of the tail. It is larger than a gray fox, with longer legs and a bushier tail.

Not only is this stunning creature beautiful for visitors to observe, it is also quite rare in the area and the sighting sparked the interest of local agencies, including Yosemite National Park and the California Department of Fish & Wildlife. It has the potential to be an extremely rare Sierra Nevada red fox (Vulpes vulpes necator), a subspecies of the more widespread red fox (Vulpes vulpes)It could also be a non-native subspecies with Great Basin or fur farm ancestry. The only way to tell for sure is to gather genetic data—either fur or scat. … more »

Mono Lake winter field seminars in 2019

October 18th, 2018 by Elin, Communications Coordinator
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This coming winter we are pleased to offer three field seminars to take advantage of this very special season—two winter photography seminars and one winter ecology seminar!

Early morning light sifts through bands of poconip ice fog at Mono Lake. Photo courtesy of Joe Decker.

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Mono Lake by Moonlight
January 18–20, 2019 • Joe Decker

Winter Starry Skies Over Mono Lake
February 1–3, 2019
• Joe Decker

Winter Ecology of the Mono Basin
February 9, 2019
• Nora Livingston
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Registration will open on Thursday, November 1 at 9:00am. To sign up, call (760) 647-6595 or register online. … more »

Mono Lake bookstore closed October 23 & 24; otherwise open

October 16th, 2018 by Lily, Information Center & Bookstore Manager
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Although there are fewer people traveling through Lee Vining during this time of year, the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore remains open 9:00am–5:00pm seven days a week. However, we will have several temporary closures during October and November.

On Tuesday, October 23 and Wednesday, October 24 the Information Center & Bookstore will be closed for our annual staff working retreat. We will resume normal hours (open 9:00am–5:00pm) on Thursday, October 25. Next month the Information Center & Bookstore will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, November 22.

We apologize for any inconvenience, and we hope to see you during your visit to the Mono Basin!

Mono Basin Scenic Area Visitor Center closed temporarily

October 15th, 2018 by Elin, Communications Coordinator
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Effective Tuesday, October 16, the Mono Basin Visitor Center will be closed due to a wasp infestation that is affecting employee and visitor safety. The closure will be in place until the pest control can address this problem.

The Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore is open 9:00am–5:00pm, every day. Please stop by to get information about the Eastern Sierra, fall color recommendations, Yosemite information, and to browse our selection of books, gifts, apparel, and art. You can also call us at (760) 647-6595 and we can answer your questions over the phone.

Update: As of November 1, 2018, the Visitor Center is closed for the season.

Closing dates for Mono Basin campgrounds

October 14th, 2018 by Joslyn, Project Specialist
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Several Mono Basin campgrounds have closed or will be closing in the coming weeks as colder temperatures set in and the season winds down. Please use the information below to plan any camping trips or visits to the Mono Basin.

The campgrounds at Saddlebag Lake have closed for the season; other area campgrounds are closing this month. Photo by Elin Ljung.

Campgrounds open: Lundy Canyon, Aspen Grove (est. closing 10/13), Moraine (est. closing 10/13), Lower Lee Vining (est. closing 10/28), Aerie Crag (est. closing 10/21), Gull Lake (est. closing 10/21), June Lake (est. closing 10/21), Oh Ridge (est. closing 10/21), Silver Lake (est. closing 11/4), and Reversed Creek (est. closing 10/21). … more »

Early-bird Mono Lake Free Drawing winner, plus more chances to win

October 12th, 2018 by Joslyn, Project Specialist
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Last week we drew the winner of the early bird prize for the 2018 Free Drawing—congratulations to Marta Beryt of Fresno, who won an iPad mini 4!

I got to pull Marta’s winning ticket for the early bird Free Drawing prize! Photo by Elin Ljung.

If you haven’t yet sent in your tickets for the Free Drawing, there is still time—we will be drawing all the winners in mid-December. Those who enter could win one of 26 fun-filled prizes that include ski passes, canoe trips, vacations and retreats in the Mono Basin, San Francisco, Mammoth Lakes, Hope Valley, Benton Hot Springs … more »

Guided trips to the best fall color spots at Mono Lake

October 4th, 2018 by Nora, Lead Naturalist Guide
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We had our first few fall color trips of the year this past week, and it is beyond gorgeous out there! The higher elevations (8,500′–10,000′) have some beautiful patches of red, yellow, and orange groves, and we just got dusted with the first snow of the season on tall peaks along the crest. Now the color is moving down the slopes—the canyons and creeks in the Mono Basin will be glowing in the next two weeks.

Join Nora Livingston to visit the best fall color locations in the Mono Basin right now. Photo by Bartshe Miller.

Want to learn more about the science behind fall colors and the natural history of these amazing trees that paint our mountains gold and crimson in the fall? Come join me on our Fall Color Foray field seminars and experience them for yourself—October 11 and 15, 8:00am to 12:00noon. I am also available for custom fall color tours to take you to the best spots for viewing and photography. … more »

Historic images of Yosemite and the Mono Basin

September 28th, 2018 by Greg, Information & Restoration Specialist
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The Yosemite Museum has published online over 6,500 images of Yosemite and surrounding areas in its Yosemite Historic Photo Collection. There are also photos of people, cultural artifacts, maps, and documents related to Yosemite.

Mono Lake from Bloody Canyon, August 1931

Mono Lake from Bloody Canyon, August 1931

A large portion of the collection consists of beautiful Paiute and Miwok baskets. The Mono Basin—portions of it were once a part of the original National Park—is featured in many of the photos. Here is a sampling of Mono Basin shots that can be found in this amazing resource: … more »

Mono Lake volunteer spotlight: Charles Gessert

September 27th, 2018 by Maureen, Membership Assistant
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There are so many ways to help Mono Lake! Recently a member from Minnesota used his particular passion to donate time and resources to Mono Lake.

Dr. Charles Gessert is a lifelong stamp collector and has been a Mono Lake Committee member since 1985. To build his stamp collection, Charles would buy entire collections at auctions. But this led to excess stamps, so a few years ago he started donating the stamps he didn’t need to local charities to … more »

New seasonal hours for the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore

September 26th, 2018 by Lily, Information Center & Bookstore Manager
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On Friday, September 28, the Information Center & Bookstore will close at 5:00pm for a special event. We will resume our 9:00am–7:00pm hours for the weekend.

Starting on Monday, October 1, we be open 9:00am–5:00pm for the fall, winter, and spring. We will still be open seven days a week, so please stop in to say hello, get information on Mono Lake, find out where to see the best fall colors, and accomplish some early holiday shopping—we’d love to see you!

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