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We were able to briefly stop here for my first visit on our family reunion trip to California this summer. Wow, what an amazing location! I was just as impressed by the birding as I was by the scenery.

And what a fascinating place. This unique saline tufa tower-graced soda lake spread out over 65 square miles formed over a million years ago and has no outlet to the ocean. Mono has a thriving ecosystem fed by 4-6 trillion of the lake's own endemic Mono Lake brine shrimp, swarms of alkali flies and a high population of algae. Something on the order of 1-2 million birds stop by to feed on this bounty every year.

Image Notes: the image is based on a single RAW image. I used luminosity masking to adjust the tonality of the image.

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