Moai on Easter Island

Moai on Easter Island

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Mono Lake: A Work in Progress

I was driving out to Boundary Peak a few days ago as the sun was just starting to come up.  The sign for the Mono Lake South Tufa whizzed by on the side of the road.  I was in a hurry to get to the trailhead to beat the thunderstorms that I knew were coming that afternoon.  I also figured I had missed all the good morning light on the lake.  For some reason I decided to stop anyway...I also really had to go to the bathroom.

Mono Lake
Turns out the light was amazing.  I didn't get there a second too late.  Right now Mono Lake is a work in progress--for my photography and for the lake itself.

Seagull over Mono Lake
In 1941 Los Angeles began to divert water from the Owens River in Mono Basin to hydrate the ever growing metropolis.  The Owens River is one of the runoff sources that feeds Mono Lake. The lake has no outlet and is fighting the balance between evaporation in the desert environment and runoff from snowfall in the High Sierra.

Mono Lake
By the time LA stopped diverting water in 1994 the lake had lost a third of its water.  Right now the lake is 34 feet lower than it was in 1941; but is now slowing rising.  The goal is 9 feet higher that is is right now.  This will make these Tufas (a calcium carbonate formation from [formerly] underwater springs) disappear underwater.

Mono Lake
So while they are still visible it is time to get out and try to get some more photos of them.  Just need to get up early enough to do it.  Part of the work in progress.

Boundary Peak, highest point in Nevada

White Mountain from Boundary Peak

Mt Dana from Boundary Peak

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