Mono Lake, California is a bit off the beaten path, on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada. The early May day we were there it was spitting snow of and on, howling wind in gusts, and blessing us with patches of sunshine and teasing us with a spot of blue sky.
The biota of the lake appears tgo be somewhat like the Great Salt Lake, brine shrimp and fly larvae the only critters able to survive in the toxic (natural) soup of water. However the birds find it the perfect place to stop by on their way north to breeding grounds; they can put on lots of weight, gain strength in a short time.
The lake is receding but not beyond historic levels. Los Angeles intercepts water before it reaches the lake, and it seems a no brainer that this is speeding up the process. There is considerable controversy over the extraction, and has been for years. It’s pretty hard to win, pitting our love of green lawns and swimming pools, against a few thousand tons of brine shrimp, and some birds.