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‘Seasonal Update’ Category

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 is rising

Monday, July 8th, 2019 by Robbie, Restoration Field Technician

Last month we measured Mono Lake’s level as 6382.2 feet above sea level on June 3. This month we measured 6382.7 feet, an impressive half-foot rise. This falls right in line with our “likely range” forecast, with more lake rise to come in July.

A Mono Basin Outdoor Education Center group from Los Angeles touches the lake water at South Tufa. Mono Lake is expected to rise another foot this year. Photo by Miranda Norlin.

Be sure to check back with us in August—hopefully Mono Lake will rise past the 6383-foot threshold.

The sound of the fury

Monday, July 1st, 2019 by Kevin, Information Center & Bookstore Assistant

There are a number of ways to picture from afar the torrent of water heading downhill from the Sierra Nevada toward Mono Lake right now. One is to review data on the rapidly dwindling snowpack at Tioga Pass, some of which is destined for the lake.  Another is to check in on DWP’s real time streamflow monitoring, which quantifies in cubic feet per second how much water the creeks are carrying. And depending on shadows and leaf, it is even possible to glimpse Mill Creek itself from an overhead webcam.

All of these tools provide critical information for the Mono Lake Committee, DWP, and stream scientists. But they also all seem sterile in comparison to actually standing next to a creek flowing at 50, 100, or even 350 cubic feet per second. The reason, I think, is that they have no sound. And to traipse along one of the swollen creeks pouring out of the Sierra and into the Mono Basin this summer is to be awash in sound.

The author recording Lee Vining Creek. Photo by Kevin Brown.

To capture this auditory landscape, I spent a recent morning along the Lee Vining Creek Trail—not a half-mile from the Committee office—with my microphone, headphones, and field recorder. (more…)

It’s the season for interpretive activities at Mono Lake

Sunday, June 30th, 2019 by AnnaLisa, Mono Lake Intern

Summer is a busy time in the Mono Basin, and the birds aren’t the only ones making the most of the warmer temperatures and longer days! Whether it is your first or fiftieth visit to the area, there are a variety of exciting interpretive programs for the whole family available at and near Mono Lake this summer.

Join a 10:00am or 6:00pm free South Tufa tour to learn about Mono Lake from a naturalist guide. Photo by Bartshe Miller.

Gain an understanding of the ecology and history of the lake by stopping by charismatic South Tufa for one of the free, hour-long tours at 10:00am and 6:00pm every day, where you’ll have the hands-on opportunity to get to know the fascinating ecosystem and political history of the lake with the guidance of a naturalist. While the tours are free, South Tufa is (more…)

Genny Smith memorial naturalist hikes

Saturday, June 29th, 2019 by Nora, Lead Naturalist Guide

Join us on July 13 and August 24 for hikes in memory of naturalist Genny Smith. Photo courtesy of Andrew Aldrich.

Genny Smith was the Naturalist Queen of the Eastern Sierra. She wandered many Eastern Sierra trails in search of flowers, birds, mammals, and quiet serenity, and in turn learned about the important interactions between all of the life in these habitats and the ancient geology that sets the stage. These experiences inspired her (more…)

Tioga Pass to open fully on Monday, July 1

Thursday, June 27th, 2019 by Elin, Communications Coordinator

News from Yosemite National Park: Tioga Pass will open fully on Monday, July 1 at 8:00am. Until the full opening on Monday morning vehicular access will continue to be available at 10:00–11:00am and 3:00–4:00pm.

A view of the Tioga Pass area from the slopes of Mt. Dana on June 23, 2019. Photo by Joslyn Rogers.

July 1 is one of the latest dates for Tioga Pass to fully open, and later than in 2017 when the road opened on June 29 with more snow in the high country that year than this year. This is only the fifth time it has opened fully in July since record keeping began in 1933—other July opening dates happened in (more…)

Tioga Pass open on a limited basis starting Friday, June 21

Wednesday, June 19th, 2019 by Elin, Communications Coordinator

As road crews continue to work to get Tioga Pass (Highway 120) all the way open, Yosemite National Park has announced that there will be limited access to the road starting on Friday.

The gate at the eastern entrance to Yosemite National Park. Photo courtesy of the National Park Service.

The Tioga Road will be open to all vehicles, including bicycles, from 10:00am to 11:00am and from 3:00pm to 4:00pm, with no parking allowed on the road and no day use recreation permitted. This is a pass-through option only, for visitors interested in crossing the Sierra.

There is still no estimated date for the road to open fully. For more information, see the full press release from the National Park Service.

Summer hours start Thursday at the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore

Tuesday, June 11th, 2019 by Lily, Information Center & Bookstore Manager

Starting on Thursday, June 13, the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore will be open from 8:00am to 9:00pm every day.

Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore summer hours begin on Thursday: open 8:00am to 9:00pm daily. Photo by Elin Ljung.

Stop by to pick up a Mono Lake T-shirt, buy maps for your next hike, find gifts for friends and family, watch The Mono Lake Story half-hour film, select some postcards to help remember your trip, or get information about canoeing, hiking, camping, lodging, restaurants, and more. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Space still open in Bird Chautauqua programs

Saturday, June 8th, 2019 by Elin, Communications Coordinator

The eighteenth annual Mono Basin Bird Chautauqua is happening next weekend, June 14–16! The weather has warmed up, the birds have arrived in the Eastern Sierra, and many Chautauqua programs still have space.

Join us next weekend for the Mono Basin Bird Chautauqua! Photo by Elin Ljung.

If you have been on the fence about attending this year’s Chautauqua, we hope this list of open programs (below) convinces you to join us. You can still register for a fantastic weekend of field trips, workshops, and presentations—don’t miss out! (more…)

Sign up for a Mono Lake canoe tour today

Saturday, June 1st, 2019 by Alison, Canoe Coordinator

With summer just around the corner, it’s time to start planning a visit to the Eastern Sierra! Reserve your seat today on a Mono Lake canoe tour to experience Mono Lake from an entirely new perspective.

Calm mornings lead to stunning reflections on Mono Lake. Photos by Alison Kaplan.

On your hour-long tour, you will learn all about the ecology and geology of this high desert lake while paddling among tufa towers, seeing eye-to-eye with the brine shrimp, and maybe even (more…)

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