Archive - Mono Lake Tufa Towers

September 30, 2018

Mono Lake, hidden cove May 21, 2012

Each Sunday we present a notable item from our archives. This EPOD was originally published September 29, 2012.

Photographer: Cindy Todd
Summary Authors: Cindy Todd; Stu Witmer

The photo above was taken at Mono Lake, California. In 2011 Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve was one of 70 state parks facing the budget axe; however due to public outcry, the park was saved and is now being partially funded by new parking fees and a cooperative of other parks and reserves in the area. Mono Lake is highly alkaline due to runoff from the surrounding mountains and the fact that the lake has no outlet other than evaporation. The runoff has a high concentration of calcium carbonate that forms into the tufas in and around the lake. Alkali flies (Ephydra hians) and brine shrimp (Artemia monica) thrive on the high alkalinity of the lake. They, in turn, attract a huge variety of birds. In fact, Mono Lake is a stopover on the Pacific Flyway for many species of migratory birds including Eared Grebes, Wilson's Phalaropes, and Red-necked Phalaropes. Photo taken May 21, 2012.

Photo Details: Camera: Canon PowerShot SX120 IS; Focal Length: 6.0mm; Aperture: f/3.2; Exposure Time: 0.0008 s (1/1250); ISO equiv: 125.