Not Quite Yosemite… Mono Lake


It was still raining lightly as we left the Whoa Nellie Deli. However, things looked very promising as the storm moved across Mono Lake and warm light started to stream over the Sierras toward us. The low-angled light made the ground seem as though it were on fire, and the dark and heavy storm clouds served as a perfect backdrop to what was a remarkable scene. It looked like tonight could have the potential to be one of those special sunsets, where the light on the edge of a storm is truly magical, so we hurried down toward the lake hoping that everything would come together.

Mono Lake is an ancient salt lake covering 70 square miles that lies in the shadow of some of the major Eastern Sierra peaks. It is renowned for several reasons, including the migratory bird population that visits each year, the beautiful landscape it offers photographers, and probably most famously, the interesting limestone “tufas” that are scattered along the shoreline.

Last time we were here the place was covered in snow, and although that certainly made for some unique conditions, the light on that particular occasion did not really cooperate. The sunset Sam and I witnessed last night in Tuolumne Meadow was spectacular, so we wondered if it might be asking too much for another good one tonight. We had our answer soon enough as the sun dipped below the crest of the Sierras and the sky began to light up in a way that makes photographers smile…

4 thoughts on “Not Quite Yosemite… Mono Lake

  1. David, your photos of Mono and Yosemite (and everywhere else) are wonderful! I just found your blog and have enjoyed looking through previous posts. You’re traveling through my favorite part of the world this week. Enjoy your travels!

    • David Patterson

      Tim – thanks for the kind words. I can certainly see why this is your favorite part of the world. It seems like around every turn it gets more and more beautiful.

  2. very nice captures here, Mono Lake is on my ‘To Do’ list at some point. #2 is a superb capture of this site, I enjoy your take on this popular location!

    • David Patterson

      Peyton… thanks. It really is a neat place, and with good light it can be quite the experience for those interested in photography.

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