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Moonlit Mono Lake, Mono Lake California

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Can you see the Big Dipper? It's in there!

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I think Polaris is in there too but am not sure which one. If you spot it, feel free to note it on the picture!


Mono Lake is a strange and eerie place in the daytime. Past might it takes on a whole new eeriness with coyotes baying at the moon just a few yards away it can be quite distracting and a little unnerving. Still the beauty of this strange lake cannot be denied even in the middle of a half moonlit night. The lake was dead calm with little to no waves making for stunning reflections. The cloud cover was neither too much or too little and the starlight was spectacular on this incredibly clear night. The strange rock formations are called Tufas (tou-fa) and are formed underwater. As the freshwater was diverted from the lake, these strange and eerie rock formations rose to heights of 30 feet or more. They are now receding back into the lake as less water is diverted from the lake which is a natural breeding ground for the California Gull and many other water fowl. And in about 20 short years the tufas you see here will have disappeared beneath the lakes surface.


The Big Dipper constellation can clearly be seen on the right side of the image with the handle of the dipper pointed down. I am sure if you are the least bit in to astronomy you can count a dozen or more constellations in the sky. I am not sure as to the cause of the orange glow on the horizon but assume based on looking at Google Earth maps that it is quite probably light from Reno & Carson City several hundred miles to the north. If you look carefully at the full size image you can see small rocks and gravel under the edge of the perfectly calm water. Grass actually grows along the salt shoreline and added some great green colors to the image.


Hope you enjoy this one.



© Darvin Atkeson

LiquidMoonlight Studios

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Taken on October 15, 2011