I was very glad we had our Jeep Wrangler at Mono Lake today. Although certainly passable by any car, I felt more confident on our drive down the one mile gravel road that took us to the Mono Lake Navy Beach to see the sand tufas, than if we still had our old Hyundai Accent.
I could write lots of words at this point, but I would rather just let the pictures speak for themselves:
Our next stop was back up the gravel road and down another to the parking area of the South Tufa for a guided walk.
We learned about the many birds that use Mono Lake as a safe place to nest or rest on migration.
|Osprey nesting on tufa|
The sky was a bit overcast, but the air was a perfect 75° without much wind. Today the lake looked more green than blue. We learned this is because the water contains lots of algae.
|We think this is the tallest tufa|
Algae form the base of the food chain at Mono Lake. Two creatures form the next level higher, that feed on the algae. Brine shrimp are the less numerous but more economically important form, because they are harvested for home aquarium food. The more numerous form is called alkali flies.
They had just started to appear for the season. Native Americans would harvest their pupae and dry them for food. To this day, local people and tourists are amazed by how good they taste!
We have many more pictures, but they will have to stay in our own files. The Mono Lake history and how the lake was almost lost to the water demands of Los Angeles is an interesting one, but you will just have to read about it, or better yet come here yourself to learn about it.
[From Craig] I took this image while walking behind Merikay by the tufa today.
In the last two weeks she has discovered pants like these at Walmart. I think they are called Capris, which is a name I recall from when we were young. Who would have expected that Walmart would be the source of garments that could make a lady in her 70s look this good? I'm proud to be her partner in Merikay's Dream!
From Merikay: if I look good to him, I'm happy.