Mono Lake is an ancient 65 square miles lake located 13 miles east of Yosemite National Park. It has no outlet, and continues to become increasingly salty. Amazing limestone rock formations called tufas form from fresh water springs interacting with alkaline lake water.
Tufa spires start underwater. Thirty foot formations become more visible as the lake levels decrease due to water diversions to Southern California.
In 1994 the State Water Resource Control Board in an effort to protect Mono Lake set limits on amount of water that could be diverted.
All kind of objects spring to mind when I look at a tufa rock formation.
It is so easy to imagine faces, and animals.
I spend time in the late afternoon watching birds around the lake. Some nest on the tufa. Later I photograph a sunset on the South Tufa side of Mono Lake.
Getting up early provides photographic rewards.
The tufas on Mono Lake are somewhat other worldly, and my photo processing skills felt free to experiment. I used Adobe Lightroom 5.7, Photomatrix Pro 5 and Topaz Plug-Ins: Detail and Adjust.
I semi reluctantly returned to Bodie and Mono Lake with my photography friends Anne and Laura. My first experience had been clouded by altitude sickness. I am so glad that I set aside my trepidations and I came away with some good photographic memories. Note to self, always set aside initial reservations, and get out and make new memories.
The abandoned ghost town of Bodie is located in the Eastern Sierra Mountains at an elevation of 8,375 feet. I carefully planned my day of photography. From previous experience, I knew about altitude sickness, and I didn’t want a repeat. I kept my camera gear to 2 lenses, and I brought plenty of water to help keep hydrated, sunblock and a hat. This State Historic Park is located 7 miles outside of Bridgeport. The last 3 miles are on an unpaved dirt road. Along with Laura and Anne we headed to Bodie early.
In 1859 gold discovered and the rush was on.
The Standard Mining Company in the 1870’s made mining profitable and the boom was on.
The town’s population reached 8,500 and there were more than 2,000 buildings. Mining brought other businesses and the town grew.
As an old telephone operator I enjoyed see this switchboard located in the Bodie Hotel.
Decline of profits happened quickly, and by 1886 the population dwindled to 1,500 people. In 1932 a fire destroyed much of the town and only 10 percent remained.
“Arrested decay” is the description for the town of Bodie.
This is part 1 of my photo journey into the California high desert.