Tuesday, January 28, 2014
For a long time I have wanted to travel to Death valley and see the Racetrack. For those who don't know, the Racetrack is a playa or a dry lake bed where the rocks move, leaving "tracks" where they have been. The Racetrack is dry for most of the year. I have never even seen a picture of it wet. Unfortunately when I arrived, it was really wet. The scenic rocks were in the middle of the playa, and walking through the mud was not an option. The mud is thick and builds on itself; within a few steps you would have several inches of mud stuck to your boots and leave damage to the playa for years to come.
Saturday, January 11, 2014
Mono Lake is a extremely salty shallow lake located in Mono County California. The salinity is due to the lake having no outlet. The inlet is fresh water but Los Angeles diverted water from it causing evaporation and lack of inlet flow to lower the lake level.
Once the lake was lowered, these tufa's showed up. The tufa's are formed when freshwater springs containing high carbonate levels mix with the salt water creating stalagmite formations.
Some of the formations are small, but many are 10-12' in height.
A sand tufa is lit by the moon while airline traffic flies overhead.
Alpenglow at sunset.
The blue hour after sunset
A quarter moon illuminates the foreground while stars shine brightly.
This is a sand tufa at Mono Lake. Some are so delicate that even a touch will cause them to crumble. Above is a black and white image looking down on a sand tufa —
A flashlight creates shadows on sand tufa's just before sunrise.