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‘Seasonal Update’ Category

Fall 2019 Mono Lake Committee staff migrations

Friday, October 18th, 2019 by Jessica, Office Director

The 2019 Mono Lake Committee staff. Photo by Andrew Youssef.

In a blink, summer 2019 came to a close and another excellent group of seasonal staff headed out into the world, in one way or another changed by their time spent in the Mono Basin.

When not answering questions on the front counter, Information Center & Bookstore Assistant Kevin Brown also presented his talk, “Save the Pupfish! History, Water, and the Surprising Persistence of the Devils Hole Pupfish,” at our Refreshments with Refreshing ‘Ologists lecture series.

Merryn Venugopal is sticking around the Eastern Sierra for the winter after a great summer as Information Center & Bookstore Assistant. We were fortunate to have her professionalism and experience with retail systems at the front counter all season. (more…)

Fall 2019 Mono Lake Newsletter now online

Wednesday, October 16th, 2019 by Elin, Communications Coordinator

At the Mono Lake Committee we spend a lot of time thinking about inputs of water into Mono Lake. How much? For how long? In what patterns? From what sources? When will it arrive? Is it enough?

But during the recent windstorm-induced power outage (see page 17), I got to thinking about Mono Lake’s output. It powers the phalaropes (see page 6) on their long migration to South America after they have stopped here to gorge on brine shrimp and molt. On their non-stop flight to Chile, Argentina, Peru, and Paraguay, each new feather, each tiny digestive system is powered by Mono Lake. (more…)

Join us for a winter field seminar at Mono Lake

Friday, October 11th, 2019 by Elin, Communications Coordinator

Travel to the Mono Basin in winter to experience the “forgotten” season on the east side of the Sierra Nevada. Winter here is quiet, majestic, and worth discovering with a guide on one of our winter field seminars.

Join us for a winter field seminar to experience the “forgotten” season in the Mono Basin. Photo by Arya Harp.

___________________________________________

Winter Photography at Mono Lake
January 10–2, 2020 • Joe Decker

Mono Basin Winter Wanders (half-day) •
February 1 & 15, March 7 & 21, 2020
• Nora Livingston

___________________________________________

Registration will open on Tuesday, October 15 at noon. To sign up, call (760) 647-6595 or register online. (more…)

Fall colors are just starting in the Mono Basin

Thursday, September 26th, 2019 by Krista, Birding Intern

Autumn in the Eastern Sierra is a captivating time of year. After a busy summer of growth and renewal, vibrant pockets of yellow, gold, and red spills down steep canyon walls and across hilltops. Most of the birds have flown south for the winter, and the autumn leaves quiver and shine throughout a silent landscape. Though the fall colors have just started to pop up in isolated pockets throughout the Eastern Sierra, the crisp clean air announces more fall splendor to come soon!

Lundy Canyon fall color on 9/26/19. Photo by Krista Fanucchi.

Some small groups of aspen are just starting to change color along the June Lake Loop (7,654′), in Lee Vining Canyon (6,781′), and (more…)

Join us for a Mono Lake field seminar this fall

Wednesday, September 18th, 2019 by Alison, Canoe Coordinator

Sign up for a field seminar to take the best advantage of fall color season in the Mono Basin. Photo from 2018 by Andrew Youssef.

Shorter days and cooler temperatures mark the changing season here in the Mono Basin. Things are starting to slow down in Lee Vining, but insiders know that fall is the perfect time to visit, and we are excited to offer six field seminars this coming fall! (more…)

Fall hours at the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore

Thursday, September 12th, 2019 by Chloe, Mono Lake Intern

It’s that time of year again! Fall is nearly upon us and that means some changes are happening here at Mono Lake. Not only are fall colors beginning to appear in the Eastern Sierra and temperatures are dropping to near freezing at night, but the Mono Lake Committee will soon be transitioning to fall hours.

As of Sunday, September 15, the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstore will be open 9:00am–7:00pm. Starting on Sunday, September 29, we’ll be open 9:00am–5:00pm. As always, we’re open seven days a week.

A few seasonal staff will remain for the next couple of weeks and all of the usual friendly faces will stay here year-round. We are always happy to answer any questions you may have, play the Mono Lake Story film in the gallery, or help you pick out a new book to read. Whether you are visiting Lee Vining for a few days or just driving through, feel free to stop by and say hello!

“An effort of this magnitude will never be perfect”

Friday, September 6th, 2019 by Kevin, Information Center & Bookstore Assistant

Twenty thousand years ago, a glacier churned down Lee Vining Canyon. Hundreds of feet thick at the top of the canyon, the glacier reached its maximum extent at the site of what is now the US Forest Service ranger station, just west of Lee Vining.

It is now easier to picture this arm of what scientists call the Tioga glaciation thanks to a new US Geological Survey map showing its extent throughout the Yosemite region. Greg Stock, geologist for Yosemite National Park and one of the map’s authors, spoke at the Mono Lake Committee last month. To a packed room, he described the jumble of moraines, boulders, and rock striations that he and his colleagues deciphered to build the map.

The USGS’s new map, released this summer, shows the extent of the Tioga glaciation in the vicinity of Yosemite National Park. This corner of the map shows a glacier flowing down Lee Vining Canyon toward ancestral Mono Lake (Lake Russell). Image courtesy of the USGS.

But this latest map is based on more than work by Stock and his colleagues. It also draws on the efforts of an earlier generation of scientists. In other words, just as the Tioga glaciation isn’t the only glacial period in the Sierra Nevada’s past, the 2019 map is not the first map of the Tioga glaciation in the park. (more…)

Field seminar adventures: Mono Basin Landscapes & Milky Way Photography

Thursday, September 5th, 2019 by Chloe, Mono Lake Intern

Nature and art go hand-in-hand here at the Mono Lake Committee and one of the best ways to make use of this is through a field seminar, which the Committee hosts throughout the year.

Field seminar participants capture the evening light and the rise of the moon at South Tufa. A reflection of the scene shimmers in the foreground of the photo. Photo courtesy of Jeff Sullivan.

In early August the Mono Basin Landscapes & Milky Way Photography field seminar took place, led by accomplished nature photographer Jeff Sullivan. It was timed to take advantage of the waxing crescent moon and allow for extraordinary astrophotography that highlighted both the shining moon and abundant stars that are visible throughout the Mono Basin. (more…)

39th annual Tioga Pass Run coming up

Sunday, September 1st, 2019 by Meghan, Mono Lake Intern

As the heat of the summer simmers down and the phalaropes head south, runners will be lining up on Sunday, September 8 outside the Mono Lake Committee Information Center & Bookstorefor the 39th annual Tioga Pass Run.

With the Dana Plateau towering above, athletes head uphill during the Tioga Pass Run. Photo by Bartshe Miller.

This 12.4mile run goes up the shoulder of scenic Highway 120 West and finishes at the eastern entrance of Yosemite National Park. Ascending over 3,000 feet, it’s a challenge that’s worth the effort—athletes are rewarded with lunch at the Whoa Nellie Deli and the bragging rights of completing this hefty task. (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…)

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