The sunrises were just gorgeous and were well worth getting up at 6 am Saturday and 5 am Sunday (believe me, I’m not a morning person). I can only imagine what John Muir saw over a century ago – but he didn’t see the tufa towers of Mono Lake, as they didn’t become apparent until the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power started to drain the lake for providing water to the Los Angeles area in 1941. That’s a whole ‘nother story, and let’s get back to the Range of Light…We returned the next morning to the same spot where we’d photographed the sunset.
This is the same tip of the lake over which I photographed the alpenglow the previous night.
And up comes the sun…
Oh, the light…I do so love light and air…
The shadows were deep and dark.
The night before, our cameras were aimed at the sunset in this direction.
Just because. This was literally at eye level.
We got up at 5 am the next morning because we were told that the lake’s South Tufa parking lot could fill up very fast, very early as it’s a popular spot for photographing sunrises. Got there about 5:45 and, man, was it cold. Somewhere in the mid to low 30s. But, again, it was worth it. The beginning of dawn made me think of Georgia O’Keeffe’s early paintings on the Texas plains.
This one, in particular.
This was a few minutes before the sun came up over the eastern mountains…
…and a few minutes after.
Yes, the sky was that impossibly pure shade of yellow!
The Sierras are turning rosy as the sun rises.
Oh, yeah. These odd rock formations are made out of limestone and known as tufa columns (too-fah, like loofah). Mono Lake was once the western end of an inland sea and the Great Salt Lake formed the eastern end, but Mono Lake has tufa columns while the Great Salt Lake has tufa rocks. There are others further south, in Nevada and other parts of the world. You can read more about them right here.
Castles in the air and the water…this is one of my favorite pictures.
What’s not to love about this light?