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It's one for the Mono, tufa the snow...

It's one for the Mono, tufa the snow

Mono Lake is one of those places you have to visit. The wide salt lake slops slowly under the shadow of the Sierras, the dense water damping the ripples left behind by the wind. At the edge of winter the snow still lies all around, leaving nothing but silence. Walking down the boardwalk to the lake you start to see the strange towers of the tufa pinnacles.

Tufa reflections

Some are still in the water, while others sit in the sagebrush. Left behind when Los Angeles stole the lake's sources and the water level dropped, the tufa are fossilised springs - the calcite crystallising as the cold fresh water met the saline solution of Lake Mono.

Many will disappear soon, as Mono begins to refill after a conservation campaign started to end much of the water extractions. It won't be to its 1940's height, but it will reduce the increasing salinity of the lake, returning an important ecosystem to the dry lands on the west of the Great Basin.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
davesslave
Mar. 20th, 2008 03:27 pm (UTC)
Mono Lake is one of my favorite places on Earth. I like to go there to clear my thoughts.

By the way, did Mary and you drive about 20 to 30 minutes south and enjoy the Long Valley Hot Springs?
(Deleted comment)
sbisson
Mar. 20th, 2008 09:59 pm (UTC)
Cheers!

More images on Flickr (and I'll post more over the next few days).
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )