These strange formations called tufas (click to enlarge),
are in Mono Lake at the eastern edge,
of The Sierrra Nevada Mountain Range in California.
They are made of calcium carbonate and formed by the interaction of fresh water with the saline/alkaline lake.
Mono Lake is 2-3 times more salty than the ocean.
It is one of the oldest lakes in North America.
Trillions of brine shrimp live in the lake,
supporting 1-2 million migratory birds annually.
On this winter day, the lake was mirror still and silent.
Cheers to you from Mono Lake ~
For more on Tufas see: https://www.monolake.org/learn/aboutmonolake/naturalhistory/tufa/
225 thoughts on “Tufas~”
Oh Cindy, your photos are breathtaking. I didn’t know the term Tufa before today. You’re always educated your readers, along with entertaining us with your fab photos. Thank you.
Awwww…….. You make blogging such a pleasure! Grazie mille დ
As do you. Xo
Looks like you could be on another planet! Very interesting.
It does look quite alien doesn’t it. Happy you enjoyed & cheers დ
I’ve heard of tufas but I’ve not seen such lovely photos of them…thank you, Cindy! 💗
You and most welcome Teresa & take good care my friend დ
What a gorgeous place. Thanks for sharing!
Thank you more for your kind appreciation დ
My pleasure. 🌻
Extremely beautiful. Love this images and the place.
Thanks very much, It is so quiet and peaceful in the winter დ
Love that quiet nature and it’s beauty.
Yes. I do too. It relaxes the soul დ
Amazing landscape! Tufas are new to me, as are “brine shrimp”. Fascinating 🙂
So happy you are interested & enjoyed! Thanks much and cheers to you დ
Wow, amazing scenery; truly alien 😃
Yes, it is otherworldly and fascinating, especially in winter დ
Particularly with the snoe topped hills in the background 😃
I had never heard of tufas before. Beautiful photos, and a good lesson. Thanks, Cindy.
So happy you enjoyed & no test on Monday 😉
These are formations as if from another world. They are great shots, especially the reflections of the tufas in the water. Thank you for sharing.
Thank you more for your kind appreciation Marie დ
How beautiful and interesting. Gorgeous pictures.
Thank you Gigi & take good care დ
You visit the most fascinating places. Thankyou for sharing.
You are most welcome Dor & stay safe and well my friend დ
When I camped there for a few nights I had ample time to check out the local geology. A fascinating place! I was disappointed by the mountains to the west cutting the setting sun off just as the light was getting nice!
Loved the horses! I never knew there was a wild group roaming about?
Great shots Cindy!
It is much easier to see the horses in the winter as there are no people here and they are less skittish. It would be fun to camp here დ
I camped there are January 15th 2010. They must have been else where when we camped there?
That’s interesting. We were on the south side of the lake and you could see evidence that they are in the area quite a lot.
and I walked eastward for a mile along the shore too.
One of my favorite mystery authors, Marcia Muller, uses this incredible setting in several of her books! Great photos, Cindy!
I will check out! I love reading books about places I’m visiting დ
Thank you Timothy. It is especially so in winter დ
I’ve never been to Mono Lake in winter, Cindy. Stunning views, especially with the snow covered mountains in the background! The tufas are so tall when standing at Lake level. Hard to believe they were completely covered before 1940s when LA started diverting water from the tributaries.
Yes. You know. Thank you Terri დ
I loved Mono Lake as an older teen…we went every year to Tuolumne Meadows by way of 395. I did a couple of college projects on Mono Lake. You picked an amazing day to capture the lake’s ethereal beauty 💕
That is the traveled route! Tuolomne via Tiago Pass is a beautiful way to enter Yosemite. The lake is the most beautiful I have ever seen it in the winter. Glad you were able to do this Terri. It is special დ
Thank you! I feel like I’m right there. What a treat. ♥.
You make me happy I posted Niki. Thank you დ
You’re very welcome. You’re photos bring me a lot of joy, Cindy. *hugs* ♥.
Thank you very much დ
Gorgeous! It looks like you had it all to yourselves.
We did. Except for the two people paddling their canoe! დ
Thank you for coming back to these – what an adventure you create for your readers 🙂
You create joy for me Anne. So we are even დ
Thank you დ
It’s almost alien isn’t it…because of its unusual mixture of life. I wonder if the birds went to another planet and brought us back thinking we’d be a lovely addition to life here on Earth. And probably why they now fly away and squawk so much at us every time we come near them 😂 🤣 😀 ❤️ 🙏🏽 🦋
Yes, of course, you are clearly right. Birds rule, and humans droool 😉
Haha, well said Cindy, well said 😂 🤣
It _IS_ very alien looking, the formations are curious and unusual. I’m not seeing the birds, but the calm lake and the eerie surroundings look picture-perfect (pun intended) for the movie set of the home world of an extraterrestrial species. Thank you for introducing us to such a great find!
Cindy just mentioned that it was ‘supporting 1-2 million migratory birds annually’ so at times it is probably full…but us aliens keep them at bay I would think, like we do everything else. And as you said, a beautiful place in its uniqueness 😀
The birds are migratory. Phalaropes come in July-August, Grebes come in the fall, etc. And yes, Star Trek should “seek out new lives and new civilizations” at Mono Lake!! 😉
They could save oodles of $$$ by filming there. Naturally made alien landscapes that most people wouldn’t believe are “real”!
Rolled right by there last Fall. Should’ve stopped, but we were on a mission.
Understood. I am a native Calirfornian. It is the same thing I did for decades with The Ancient Bristlecone Pines sign, whizzed right by it to go skiing, until my husband, from Iowa, made me divert. I am so glad he did. They are the oldest living life on earth. They are awe inspiring დ
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These are fabulous formations. And I didn’t know about that super-salty lake!
The lake is also extremely alkaline. I think the tufas are beautiful too! დ
And not a flamingo in sight!
I so wish there were!!! დ
Absolutely stunning what a glorious sight to behold 🙂 x
Thank you Carol. It is so wonderful being here with no people, winter stillness, and wild horses! დ
I can imagine, Cindy I love that feeling of stillness plus wild horses.. Perfect ! 💕
Wonderful pictures showing us what some of the material in our garden looks like in the wild.
Fascinating isn’t it! I now know you as anon Derrick. Take good care my friend დ
Anonymous is Derrick
How fantastic is that!
Thanks much! I think so too! Take good care my friend დ
Amazing place, thanks!
You’re welcome & happy you enjoyed Hans დ
I’ve never seen these. they are so interesting and beautiful
Very happy you enjoyed them Beth & thank you დ
Absolutely stunning, the place and your photos!
Honored. Sincere thank you დ
Always a pleasure Cindy!
beautiful reflections Cindy 💖
Merci beaucoup mon ami Cindy! დ
a pleasure always Cindy!💖
So fascinating. I had never heard of Tufa. Parts of the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides look like a moonscape but that area is largely flat. The Tufas seem more ‘otherworldly’ – like a futuristic Lord of the Rings-scape! Thanks so much for sharing such interesting pictures Cindy xxx
You are most welcome Liz. They would look perfectly at home in the Lord of the Rings! The Hebrides are so beautiful. We were due to return, but covid cancelled that. Take good care my friend დ
Fantastic story. I had no idea. Absolute beauty. Thanks for the details and photos. The earth is stunning.
You are most welcome! The earth and nature are indeed stunning, surprising and always amazing. We are part of something extraordinary დ
How interesting! I’d never heard of tufas before. The first photo immediately brought to mind Lot’s wife being turned into a pillar of salt.
Oh, my goodness! Now that you said this, it will stay in my mind. It does look just like that! დ
Interesting … and I’ve never seen anything like that before. Thanks for sharing the glorious photos.
You are very welcome Frank! So happy you enjoyed them დ
Beautiful place !
It is particularly so in the winter and completely empty! დ
Wow! Amazing site to see. Your pictures are terrific.
Honored. Thank you & cheers Darlene დ
Beautiful cindy… cheers and love from Spain❤️
Cheers & love flying back to you in beautiful Spain Barbara დ
Beautiful, Cindy. It looks to me what Bryce Canyon would have looked like in its infancy. Have a great trip!
The tufas do look a bit like the hoodoos!!! Good eye დ
Wonderful pictures of the lake! The place looks like it is out of this world!
Thanks my friend. It does indeed look otherworldly დ
Most unusual. Nature/natural processes never cease to amaze.
Agreed. We are part of something awesome დ
Like insurgent notes in a rhapsody of blue.
Great images to reflect upon Cindy.
You are a poet Dewin. Beautiful! დ
Beautiful and strange… is this lake shrinking? The tall formations allude to that. I wonder where all the birds were? I hope one day to see this place in person, it isn’t too far from where my son lives, whom I haven’t seen in three years. 🙁
Yes. The lake is at around 42% capacity. It is still endangered. The birds come during their migrations at different times. Phalaropes come in July-August. Grebes come in the fall. I hope you come visit your son soon! Covid is doing this to us and it is not okay დ
Thanks for making education fun Cindy. I knew about Mono Lake being salty, but not the tufas. Is the lake stable? I knew it had been at great risk for a while.
The lake is still endangered. The drought has worsened the probem. It is at less than half it’s capacity. This endangers all the migratory birds that depend on it, as well as the ancient tufas დ
Thank you for educating us about Mono Lake, Cindy. I love the reflections that you captured.
You are most welcome Susan & happy you enjoyed them დ
What bizarre formations! Thank you so much for showing and explaining them, dear Cindy!
Have a fine weekend, and stay safe!
Vielen danke mein leiber Freund დ
Gorgeous photos, Cindy! Thank you very much for your Informative post. Cheers.
Cheers & thanks back to you Lynette დ
It looks like an alien landscape. I’m always amazed by that when I’m there and grateful that we get to see the tufas.
FYI- Whenever your posts land in my email box I often see/read- Cindy Poked. Then I think she’s poking me to let me know there’s a new post! 😂😍 I am glad for the poke b/c your posts never disappoint.
Cindy Poke! Love it & thank you!! დ
Fascinating, Cindy! Thank you for taking us with you…stay safe. Have fun!!
I love traveling with you Sheila & thank you! დ
What an amazing place! Magical photos!
Grazie mille Alethea დ
Absolutely amazing I had no idea!
Very happy you enjoyed & cheers to you! დ
What an amazing place. Welcoming shrimp and birds ❤️
Shrimp & birds work for me!!! Hugs to you Val დ
I’ve never seen turfas before. I had NO IDEA – but this is one of the things that makes your blog so interesting.
Awww……You make me happy I posted! Thank you & cheers to you დ
Fascinating formations, Cindy!
They are quite unique დ
Winter made it especially beautiful and empty! დ
It’s like another planet. Beautiful photos, Cindy. Thank you for the tour!
Thank you Amy for joining me. You make the experience richer დ
I’m singing “on the road again” when I visit you! Brilliant photography, as always, Cindy.
You are the best travel companion Rebecca დ
What a gorgeous spot! So still and reflective. Isn’t it wonderful how nature provides what each species needs? Who’d have thought shrimp would live in California?!?
Agreed, especially in an inland sea დ
thank you for the memory, a friend visited there MANY years ago.. I was fascinated, thank you for reminding me.. it is someplace I want to see for myself.. xxxoo
I hope you do go. I would recommend visiting in winter. It is cold, but empty and beautiful დ
Thanks for the beautiful pictures and interesting info about Mono Lake! I hope its unique and important habitat is being preserved for all those birds!
You are most welcome Kathy. The lake is actually under serious threat, both the continuing drought and from water diversion დ
Yes. And right at home დ
These are super interesting to look at, Cindy. They look like giant version of the drip sand castles my kids used to make on the beach!
Yes they do and I thought of this too! დ
Beautiful! And I love all the migratory birds it feeds!! 🙂
Amazing number of birds isn’t it. Very sadly, the continuing drought and water diversion are endangering the lake and hence the birds who rely on it დ
You captured Mother Nature beautifully! Such beauty.
Thank you Jennie. The lake was especially lovely in winter დ
You always find the beauty.
Thank you Jennie. It is always there!! დდ
Life goes by Tufas, so I need to slow down and look at these beautiful pictures again. Thanks for keeping it reel, my friend! Lol! (●මᴗමσ)σணღ*❤️
Wow these are such beautiful pictures.
So happy you think so & thanks much დ
I love your photography..beautiful images .
Honored. Thank you very much & cheers to you დ
How fascinating and beautiful!
So happy you think so & thank you Patty დ
Lovely captures.These formations are gorgeous!!
Aren’t they stunning! Happy you think so too & thank you დ
Wow amazing reflections!! Beautiful and magical place! Lucky you Cindy!
So happy you enjoyed & thanks much! დ
A brilliant photo!
Merci beaucoup mon Ami Candia დ
I have never seen Tufas, very interesting to see. The snow cap mountains in the background sure caught my attention. Together they make an interesting and beautiful image.
I had never visited the lake in the winter before. It was still, pristine and beautiful დ
Stunning views !!
Grazie mille დ
‘Mirror still and silent’. That just causes you to mentally hold your breath and just imagine that peaceful beauty. *contented sigh*
Your blog is a bit of travel heaven!
Awww….. You make me happy I posted! Thank you & cheers to you დ
Wonderful pictures, Cindy. Thanks for sharing them.
Thank you more for appreciating them Pit & cheers to you დ
So interesting. Thanks for the cool pics, Cindy!
Now, all that salty makes me feel like eating sweets…Valentines sweets.
Happy Valentines, Cindy! ❤️
Happy Valentines Day Resa & stay well my friend დდდ
The place is beautiful but looks deadly empty. How come shrimps can survive in that salty water. Definitely it is not a Dead Sea 🙂
It is a really strange lake. No fish can live in the high alkaline and saline environment, but creatures like brine shrimp and alkali flies thrive in this environment. Alkali flies make air bubbles and enter the water in them to lay their eggs. The migrating birds eat the flies, the eggs and the shrimp. Remarkable დ
Gorgeous photos, Cindy! Very interesting to learn shrimp thrive in the lake.
Thank you. It is fascinating isn’t it because it is such an intense alkaline and saline dominant environment დ
These formations are so beautiful and quite interesting. Thank you so much for sharing these wonderful pictures.
Awww……. You are very welcome Beverly. Take good care my friend დ
Otherworldly if not biblical.
Yes. The pillars of salt! Especially wonderful in winter დ
Stunning photography and beautiful Tufas. I’ve not heard of them before. Thanks for sharing.
Happy you enjoyed Sandra & thank you very much დ
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Thanks so much & cheers to you დ
Nunca había visto ni escuchado las tobas, fotos muy bellas. Abrazos desde España
¡Estoy muy feliz de que hayas disfrutado de verlos y gracias por visitarnos! ¡Un abrazo para ti en la hermosa España! დ
Fascinating. I’d never heard of this lake. When I saw the lake at Salt Lake, Utah I don’t think it had any of these. I guess it doesn’t have the fresh water like this one. Thanks! I love learning new things.
Hi Derrick. This is one of the best things about living longer. We never ever have to stop learning everyday. Stay safe and well in your storm my friend. Mother Nature appears highly irked with us everywhere დ
Cindy, I’m gobsmacked. I wasn’t familiar with any of this. Thanks for this fascinating post. As always, your photos are gorgeous too. Hugs on the wing!
Hugs flying back to you talented Teagan დ
great pictures of a great landscape.
Thanks and all the best
The Fab Four of Cley
🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
Thank you. I hope all four of you are drying out after that very rude visit from Eunice! დ
Thank you very much! Much appreciated დ
Grazie mille დ
Fabulous photos, Cindy. These fascinating formations look slightly otherworldly. I imagine it gets very hot there in the summer.
thank you Tanja. It is quite high altitude. It does get warm but not scorching like the lower deserts დ
That makes sense.
Merci beaucoup mon Ami Charlotte დ
Je vous en pris if my rusty French 🙂