One beautiful, otherworldly destination in California is Mono Lake. Our most recent visit presented us with a soft, pastel panorama.
Mono Lake is one of the oldest lakes in North America, its life estimated to be at least 760,000 years. It is fed by nearby Sierra Mountain streams but has no outlet. Streams carry minerals into the lake; evaporation reduces its fresh water content. As a result the lake has a salt concentration twice that of the ocean and no fish can live there.
Mono, however, supports life: trillions of brine shrimp and alkali flies sustain migratory birds that flock here. At various times of the year it is a birder’s paradise with nearly 100 species of birds residing here. Mono Lake is second in size only to Great Salt Lake as a California gull rookery. Anywhere from 44,000 to 65,000 gulls arrive each year to breed at Mono Lake.
Tomorrow I’ll give you a closer look at the tufa formations you see in the waters of this shot.