If you float east with the fresh water from the mountains of Sierra Nevada, you will eventually reach the alien landscape of Mono Lake. The lake, which has existed for approximately one million years, has undergone drastic change over the last century. With the mounting water demand from surrounding California cities, the water level has dropped over 45 feet. The most striking new features to emerge are the nearly 30 foot-tall limestone towers called tufas. These towers grow underwater as calcium-rich springs mix with carbonate-rich lake water. As the water level of the lake decreases, the tufas emerge and conclude their growth. Their delicate, seemingly organic profiles guard the marshy shores, sagebrush, and green-tailed towhees. It is a landscape that is entirely natural and yet unnatural.
This is one episode of the television series BIG PICTURE EARTH. Inspired by the Walt Whitman poem "There Was A Child Went Forth," this 20 x 30 minute series takes viewers on a visual exploration of the most majestic spaces on the planet, engaging both the detail and the big picture vistas in these spectacular destinations. The series is available for domestic and international audiences via on-demand streaming on CuriosityStream, in 4k resolution (twice that of HD television). The editorial style and pacing is slow and relaxed, constantly moving like a child, like a bird, like a bee. There are no actors, no narration, no music, no spoken words at all.