Sunrise light on a grove of tufa towers emerging from the water of Mono Lake with soft green and dusty-red wild grasses in the foreground, Canada geese in the shallow water with reflections of the rocky towers, and desert hills in the distance.

Timelapse: Watch Mono Lake rise before your eyes

So far in 2017, Mono Lake has risen an astounding 4.5 vertical feet before leveling off in the past month. About 3 feet of that total lake rise occurred from mid-May to mid-August. Watch below for a quick 20-second timelapse showing the incredible lake rise this summer, or scroll down and see the full two-and-half-minute timelapse video.

As you watch, see wildlife along the shore investigating the changing habitat as lagoons form—from deer to geese to Osprey—tufa becoming submerged and providing more alkali fly and brine shrimp habitat, and the salt grass quickly flooding.

The timelapse camera captured a photo of these deer on the shore of Mono Lake in mid-June, an uncommon sight to see.

You might also notice that the lake rise speeds up in early June, when warm weather started melting snow in the high country more quickly, sending record volumes of water down the streams and to the lake. The rapid snowmelt in June raised Mono Lake more that month than in any other month on record: 1.37 feet. The July rise of 0.96 feet nearly broke the record for that month too. If you haven’t made it to visit the lake this year, we hope you enjoy these remarkable videos showing Mono Lake’s rapid rise!