Mono Lake

Mono Lake is a large, shallow lake located in Mono County, CA.  Formed at least 760,000 years ago, it lacks a natural outlet, causing it to be highly saline.  Even with its desert environment and salinity, the lake has an important ecosystem based on brine shrimp.  The shrimp support a nesting habitat for nearly two million migratory birds and black flies, also known as alkali flies.  Tom, Diane and I made several trips to the lake, including both sunset and sunrise golden hours.  The photographs below are a compilation of all of our trips.

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 Mono Lake is known for having 'Tufas'.  These calcite formations are formed below the water's surface around underground fresh water springs. When the lake's water level fell (result of removing water to be sent to Los Angeles, the tufas were exposed.

Mono Lake is known for having 'Tufas'.  These calcite formations are formed below the water's surface around underground fresh water springs. When the lake's water level fell (result of removing water to be sent to Los Angeles, the tufas were exposed.

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 Probably the most important part of the magic at Mono Lake is to capture reflections of tufas, mountains, and golden hour skies.

Probably the most important part of the magic at Mono Lake is to capture reflections of tufas, mountains, and golden hour skies.

 Mono Lake is one place I have photographed where the color of the water seemed to change by the hour as light played with sky reflections and even the calcite of the tufas.

Mono Lake is one place I have photographed where the color of the water seemed to change by the hour as light played with sky reflections and even the calcite of the tufas.

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 We did not see many birds as the main migration was over.  But a few hung around to be photographed.

We did not see many birds as the main migration was over.  But a few hung around to be photographed.

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 To the east of the main collection of tufas is an area called Navy Beach.  Here, the remnants of tufas, worn down by weather, offer a slightly different view of tufas.

To the east of the main collection of tufas is an area called Navy Beach.  Here, the remnants of tufas, worn down by weather, offer a slightly different view of tufas.

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 Enjoy some 'big picture' representations of Mono Lake.

Enjoy some 'big picture' representations of Mono Lake.

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 A common sight!!  Mono Lake is a very popular destination for photographers from all over the world.  There are groups that go there just for night photography, groups that show up in large busses, and kids from local schools that have a field trip.  You are never alone!

A common sight!!  Mono Lake is a very popular destination for photographers from all over the world.  There are groups that go there just for night photography, groups that show up in large busses, and kids from local schools that have a field trip.  You are never alone!