This article is copied from The Sheet and written by Jack Lunch. For the original version, visit TheSheetNews.com
What do you get when you hand a force of nature a camera?
You get Nolan Nitschke.
The esteemed local photographer, whose work has appeared in the Smithsonian on three different occasions, will be hosting a “Grand Opening” for his Sierra Light Gallery in the Mammoth Promenade on March 26.
But it will be as much of a Grand Reintroduction as a Grand Opening. That’s what happens these days. There’s so much noise out there that even the local treasures have to break out a little razzle dazzle now and then.
The point is, you know this guy’s work, even if he’s not a household name. Yet.
His work was featured prominently for many years at the Mammoth Gallery.
And when the Mammoth Gallery closed its doors, he opened his own gallery in the Mammoth Promenade. He’s now in his sixth year and recently moved into his second location.
And when you see this new place (which formerly housed Coach), and you see how he’s set up the space, and how he displays his work, you’re gonna say to yourself, “This Nitschke is a proper heir to Galen Rowell.”
Which makes a bit of sense, given that Nolan, 35, grew up in Bishop and spent countless hours in Mountain Light Gallery as a youth.
His father was a big influence – not in the sense that he was a photographer, but that he was an avid outdoorsman, fishing, hunting, et. al.
“But he’s not as much of a backpacker as I am,” says Nitschke, who bought his first camera simply to chronicle his backcountry adventures.
Adding that during his first trip, he already knew that his new three megapixel camera wasn’t going to do.
“It spiraled out of control quickly,” laughs Nitschke of his affinity for photography, “and became a full-blown addiction.”
Lightning in a lens
Nitschke caught his first big break in 2013.
He’d decided he wanted to capture lightning in Yosemite.
“I was super naive. Learning my craft,” he admits. But he’s also tireless, and not lacking in confidence. And he’s the type of guy who won’t quit until he gets it right.
“I’ll go somewhere 50-100 times ‘til I get what I want from a location.”
When you walk inside the gallery, on the right you’ll see a large, ten-foot wide, four-paneled shot of Mount Whitney with the full moon rising behind it on a perfectly clear day.
“It took me five years to get that particular shot,” he says.
That’s five climbs and a lot of praying on the weather.
But back to 2013. Nitschke sees a forecast for severe thunderstorms in Yosemite, and chases the storm into the Park.
The National Park Service kicks people out of Glacier Point, so he moves on down to Washburn Point and finds a safe spot and sets up his tripod.
And then it’s just trial-and-error. Seeing a flickering in the clouds and anticipating it will be followed by a strike and shooting.
But you’re shooting blind. If you can see the lightning, you’re already too late for the shot.
He shot 700 photos that day.
One shot captured lightning. Centered perfectly. And went viral. It was picked up by news agencies all over the world. And led to a two-page feature in Outdoor Photographer magazine.
*Google Nolan Nitschke lightning and you’ll see dozens of entries and the photograph.
What makes Nitschke stand apart is his energy and his work ethic.
Adjectives that come to mind: Gregarious. Savvy. Energetic. Enthusiastic.
The nature photography is just half of what he does.
Nitschke also shoots a lot of the real estate photography in town for rentals and homes for sale.
Sheet: Which ones are yours?
Nitschke (with a twinkle): Any one where you go, ‘oh, that looks really nice.’ That’s me.
Among his clients are Tammy Hooper, MRG and Mammoth Village Properties.
As Tammy Hooper told The Sheet, “He’s the only one I use. It’s the quality of his work. His timeliness. There’s a sequential way to photograph a home You don’t even have to tell him. He just gets it done, captures the imagery … if you want the best, you go to the best.”
Sheet: How do you find time for all of this?
Nitschke: I work 80 hours a week.
Sheet: Your wife is very understanding.
Nitschke: She’s the f*&%ing best.
Nitschke said that he and his wife Lauren had just returned from a 10th anniversary trip to Hawaii.
Sheet: Okay. Be honest. Do you choose vacation destinations based upon their photographic possibilities?
Nitschke (sheepishly): Maybe.
He then added that what he loves so much about Hawaii is that it’s so entirely different from the eastern Sierra that it forces him to rethink everything he’s doing. “It’s a challenge as well as a training exercise,” he says.
As for why he’s excited about the grand opening on the 26th, Nitschke says it’s about evolution.
When he opened his first gallery, it was a grand experiment just to see if he could pull it off, and it was more about pulling it off, the survival part, than the presentation. “The artwork vastly outshone the space,” he says.
“My intention with this space was to design and build it so the space plays off and his complementary to the artwork.”
Swing by and judge for yourself. Gallery hours are 10-5 (10-6 Friday and Saturday). Closed Tuesdays & Wednesdays.
When the COVID-19 pandemic first hit, there were a lot of concerns about how it would impact the housing market—including whether it would spark a decrease in home values.
But, as it turns out, the opposite is true—and sellers are netting significantly more profit when they sell their home than anticipated.
According to a recent report from ATTOM Data Solutions, during Q2 of 2020, home sellers netted a median $75,491 when they sold their home—up from $65,620 from Q2 2019. Q2’s profit represents a 36.3 percent return on investment compared to original purchase price—the highest ROI for sellers since the Great Recession.
On the local front in Mammoth Lakes, we are seeing “ready to go” properties are selling quickly. People want to be here now without having to do any work. This is true across all price ranges – entry level to over $1M. Many clients are telling me they can now work remotely and since the kids won’t be going back to a traditional classroom, why not be here in gorgeous Mammoth instead of the big city? Although the majority of the interest has been in Mammoth Lakes, this is starting to trickle over to the outlying areas as well.
All this translates to a hot market for sellers with properties that are in good condition. The nicer the property the more interest and offers.
So, what does this mean for you? If you’re thinking about selling, now is a great time to make a move, fetch top dollar for your home, and walk away from the sale with a healthy profit.
Since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), many of us are spending a lot more time at home. We’re all being called upon to avoid public spaces and practice social distancing to help slow the spread of this infectious disease. While it can be understandably challenging, there are ways you can modify your home and your lifestyle to make the best of this difficult situation.
Here are a few tips for creating comfortable and functional spaces within your home for work, school, and fitness. We also share some of our favorite ways to stay connected as a community, because we’re all in this together … and no one should face these trying times alone.
Begin with the Basics
A basic home emergency preparedness kit is a great addition to any home, even under normal circumstances. It should include items like water, non-perishable food, a flashlight, first aid kit, and other essentials you would need should you temporarily lose access to food, water, or electricity
Fortunately, authorities don’t anticipate any serious interruptions to utilities or the food supply during this outbreak. However, it may be a good time to start gathering your emergency basics in a designated location, so you’ll be prepared now-—and in the future—should your family ever need them.
Ready to start building an emergency kit for your home?
Contact me for a free Home Emergency Preparation Checklist!
Working From Home
Many employees are being asked to work remotely. If you’re transitioning to a home office for the first time, it’s important to create a designated space for work … so it doesn’t creep into your home life, and vice versa. If you live in a small condominium or apartment, this may feel impossible. But try to find a quiet corner where you can set up a desk and comfortable chair. The simple act of separating your home and work spaces can help you focus during work hours and “turn off” at the end of the day.
Of course, if you have children who are home with you all day (given many schools and daycares are now closed), separating your home and work life will be more difficult. Unless you have a partner who can serve as the primary caregiver, you will need to help manage the needs of your children while juggling work and virtual meetings.
If both parents are working from home, try alternating shifts, so you each have a designated time to work and to parent. If that’s not an option, experts recommend creating a schedule for your children, so they know when you’re available to play, and when you need to work.1 A red stop sign on the door can help remind them when you shouldn’t be disturbed. And for young children, blocking off a specific time each day for them to nap or have independent screen time can give you a window to schedule conference calls or work uninterrupted.
Homeschooling Your Children
Many parents with school-aged children will be taking on a new challenge: homeschooling. Similar to a home office, designating a space for learning activities can help your child transition between play and school. If you’re working from home, the homeschooling area would ideally be located near your workspace, so you can offer assistance and answer questions, as needed.
If possible, dedicate a desk or table where your child’s work can be spread out—and left out when they break for meals and snacks. Position supplies and materials nearby so they are independently accessible, and place a trash can and recycling bin within reach for easy cleanup. A washable, plastic tablecloth can help transition an academic space into an arts and crafts area.
If the weather is nice, try studying outside! A porch swing is a perfect spot for reading, and gardening in the backyard is a great addition to any science curriculum.
In addition to creating an academic learning environment, find age-appropriate opportunities for your children to help with household chores and meal preparation. Homeschooling advocates emphasize the importance of developing life skills alongside academic ones.2 And with more meals and activities taking place at home, there will be ample opportunity for every family member to pitch in and help.
With gyms closed and team sports canceled, it can be tempting to sit on the sofa and binge Netflix. However, maintaining the physical health and mental wellness of you and your family is crucial right now. Implementing a regular exercise routine at home can help with both.
If you live in a community where you can safely exercise outdoors while maintaining the recommended distance between you and other residents, try to get out as much as possible. If the weather is nice, go for family walks, jogs, or bike rides.
Can’t get outside? Fortunately, you don’t need a home gym or fancy exercise equipment to stay fit. Look for a suitable space in your home, garage, or basement where you can comfortably move—you’ll probably need at least a 6’ x 6’ area for each person. Many cardio and strength training exercises require little (or no) equipment, including jumping jacks, lunges, and pushups.
And if you prefer a guided workout, search for free exercise videos on YouTube—there are even options specifically geared towards kids—or try one of the many fitness apps available. Also, many on-line options are waiving their fees during this time.
Socializing From a Distance
Even though we’re all being called upon to practice “social distancing” right now, there are still ways to stay safely connected to our communities and our extended families. Picking up the phone is a great place to start. Make an effort to reach out to neighbors, friends and loved ones who live alone and may be feeling particularly isolated right now.
And while parties and playdates may be prohibited, modern technology offers countless ways to organize networked gatherings with family and friends. Try using group video conferencing tools like Google Hangouts and Zoom to facilitate a virtual happy hour or book club (I have participated ib both recently and even an online 50th Birthday Party!). Host a Netflix Party to watch (and chat about) movies with friends. Or plan a virtual game night and challenge your pals to a round of Psych or Yahtzee.
There are safe ways to connect offline, too. Rediscover the lost art of letter writing. Drop off groceries on an elderly neighbor’s porch. Or organize a neighborhood “chalk walk,” where children use sidewalk chalk to decorate their driveways and then head out for a stroll to view their friends’ artwork.
Of course, there’s one group of people who you can still socialize with freely—those who reside in your home. Family dinners are back, siblings are reconnecting, and many of us have been given the gift of time, with commutes, activities, and obligations eliminated. In fact, some families are finding that this crisis has brought them closer than ever.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE
Even with all of the tools and technology available to keep us connected, many of us are still feeling stressed, scared, and isolated. However, you can rest assured that you are not alone. We’re not only here to help you buy and sell real estate. We want to be a resource to our clients and community through good times and bad. If you and your family are in need of assistance, please reach out and let us know how we can help.
- The Home School Mom.com
Most people see wildlife in Mammoth Lakes in the summer and fall, but the local fauna are around year-round. Mammoth Lakes is home to bears, coyotes, deer, mountain lions, and more. Keeping yourself safe and practicing good wildlife etiquette will help keep the animals safe.
We regularly hear about animals having to be put down because of humans intervening with Mother Nature. You might have heard about Yellowstone tourists putting a bison calf in their car or trying to ride a deer. And in California, wild animals are falling victim to death more because of access to food and garbage.
The Town of Mammoth Lakes uses bear-proof dumpsters. If you’re using one, always be sure to clip the bear-resistant latch when you’re done. Don’t leave anything scented (even lotions, sunscreen, gum, mints, etc.) in your car — bears have great noses and have been known to pry car doors open to get to scented items. They can do quite a bit of damage once they’re inside your car too.
If you’re camping in the Eastern Sierra, you’ll need to properly stash your food and trash as bears and other animals are attracted to anything edible or smelly. Most established campgrounds in the Eastern Sierra have beer-proof storage boxes at each site. If you’re backpacking, you’ll need to take a bear-proof food canister with you. Always clean up and properly store food and garbage immediately after meals. Bears can smell food cooking from 3-4 miles away.
If you have children, teach them what to do if they encounter a bear. Never approach or touch a bear, even a bear cub. If you see a bear, don’t run. Instead, just let it be. If it sees you and still comes toward you, face the animal, make noise, and try to appear as large as possible. The black bears that call Mammoth home are typically afraid of people and prefer to leave you alone. If you see a bear cub, move on — you don’t want to be between a mother and her cub.
“There’s more misinformation about black bears than accurate information,” says Steve Searles, a local bear expert, in an article from a few years ago.
Black bears subsist mostly on seeds, berries and other vegetarian items — don’t leave bird seed out as this is a major draw for them. They’re generally gentle creatures, and you’re much more likely to be struck by lightning than be attacked by a black bear. There aren’t any grizzly bears or brown bears in the Sierra Nevada, although the resident black bears may be brown or blonde in color. There’s no need to carry bear spray in this area, and it’s actually prohibited in Yosemite National Park and some other areas. The biggest concern with bears locally is their desire to get into your food.
Other Wildlife Safety
Photo by Josh Wray for Visit Mammoth
The Eastern Sierra is home to many mule deer, and you might see them while hiking or driving through the area. Keep an eye out for signs on Highway 395 about migrating deer. Drive extra cautiously and always keep your eyes on the road, especially when you see these signs. When hiking, remember that mule deer can be spooked easily, so give them plenty of space, and never try to touch or feed a deer.
In the high alpine, the Eastern Sierra is home to bighorn sheep, but these beautiful creatures are rarely spotted. If you see them, give them plenty of space too.
You’ll probably never see a mountain lion, but if you do, don’t run. The National Park Service has good information about mountain lion encounters. It’s much more likely that you’ll see a coyote. Leave coyotes alone and give them plenty of space, but if they approach you, make loud noises, and if you’re on skis or have poles, bang your poles together.
Most visitors and residents in Mammoth Lakes have no issues with wildlife. If you practice proper food storage and give wild animals plenty of space, they’ll happily coexist with us. Be sure to take a moment to appreciate a wildlife encounter if you have one!
- Everything You Need to Know About Bear Safety
- California Department of Fish and Wildlife
- Facts, Myths and Advice from Steve Searles, Animal Planet’s “Bear Whisperer”
- Unique Wildlife of the Eastern Sierra
- Coyote Sightings Quadruple in Mammoth; No Worries
I know so many people who have only visited Mammoth Lakes in the winter. I love the beautiful, snowy winters here as much as anyone else, but I always encourage my friends and family to visit this area in the spring, summer and fall as well. Since moving here, I’ve fallen even more in love with year-round mountain life. Here’s why:
1. You get to enjoy all four seasons.
Each time a new season begins, I say “this is my favorite season.” Then another season comes along and I say, “no, spring is my favorite season.” Then “no, summer is my favorite season.” All the way back to winter. I love each of our distinct seasons here — and it’s not just because I get to have a different wardrobe for each one (although that’s definitely a perk). It’s because each one offers such a different and amazing way to experience Mammoth Lakes.
2. It’s easy – and expected – to live an outdoorsy, active lifestyle here.
If we don’t schedule out what we want to do, we run out of time. My favorite activities are hiking, cross country skiing and road biking. I used to golf, but there are so many other things I want to do that I can’t fit it all in. Making it even better, I get to hear about my friends and acquaintances going on crazy adventures at all ages — rock climbing, mountain biking, motorcycle riding. The list goes on and on.
3. There’s endless small town charm.
We only have five stop lights in town, and I love it. I love going to the post office and to Vons to get groceries. The more crowded, the better — it’s a social experience and so much fun to see people I know when I go out. I love that Mammoth Lakes hardly has any chain restaurants, and I love interacting with our passionate, entrepreneurial local business owners.
4. You get solitude and security.
I love the peace and quiet of Mammoth Lakes. Even when it’s busy in town, you can easily find solitude. Less-traveled roads and just a few minutes on a hiking trail lead to complete quiet and solitude. I love that I always feel safe in Mammoth Lakes. I only lock my front door for two reasons: to keep bears out and to keep my dog in.
5. It’s endlessly beautiful.
Amazing beauty, blue skies, sunshine, mountain vistas… what more could you ask for? Every day I thank God for the amazing beauty all around us. Mammoth Lakes makes it easy to be grateful and present in my life. I am in constant awe of this place. I loved visiting Mammoth Lakes, but getting to see the changes in the landscape from day to day is something I’ll never take for granted.
Learn more in my Ultimate Home Buyer’s Guide. If you’d like to talk, call me at (760) 914-4664.
Photos by Josh Wray for Visit Mammoth
Mammoth Lakes Real Estate Market Update – September 1, 2018
Photo by Perfect Zero
Where else can you play a round of golf in the morning and take a Gondola Ride to 11,000 feet to share in the spectacular views? In Mammoth Lakes of course!
Below are nine great activities that you can do any fall day around the area.
- Go fishing – anglers will tell you that fall is their favorite time of year to fish in the Eastern Sierra. Fishing in fall is phenomenal! Try Twin Lakes, Lake Mary and Lake Mamie from the shore or by boat.
- Go for a hike – hiking in and around Mammoth Lakes are sure to get you some great viewing spots.
- See the fall colors at June Lake – Take Highway 395 north to the June Lake Loop, Highway 158. The 16-mile road passes through town, winds its way around the lakes and through alpine canyons. Enjoy the scenic overlook at Oh Ridge. Continue around the lake past Gull Lake to Silver Lake, which is sure to offer a color spectacle in the fall.
- Play a round of golf – Pick up the Fall Unlimited Play Pass for Sierra Star Golf Course and you’ll be playing in the fall foliage every day.
- See the falls at Reds Meadow and Devil’s Postpile – $10 per car to drive directly to the trailheads. Parking lots fill up by 11am, so be sure to get there early, or go later after 2pm.
- Enjoy the Autumn Beer Fest at June Lake – crafts, craft brewers, stunning views and fall foliage at Gull Lake are sure to impress.
- Gondola Rides for spectacular views – what better way to see the views than from 11,000 feet. Take a ride, enjoy the once in a lifetime view, at least if you’re visiting.
- Watch the sunset at Minaret Vista – grab a snack box of gourmet items at Bleu Handcrafted Foods and head up to 9,265 feet and watch the amazing views as the sun sets.
- Kayak on Lake Mary – paddle around the perimeter of the lake where you’ll see Crystal Crag towering high above the Mammoth Crest, and the fisherman along the shore.
Fall in the Eastern Sierra is amazing — the colors are to die for. If you haven’t had the chance to explore yet, we’re giving you a helping hand. Below is the Eastern Sierra Fall Color Guide and where to go for the best colors.
eastern sierra fall color guide
Labor Day is upon us, some kids have gone back to school, others are preparing to.
With one last burst of Summer fun, here are some of the events going on in and around Mammoth Lakes this weekend:
Mammoth Rock n Rye
As part of Outside on the Eastside – a colorful fall celebration of arts, culture and recreation – Mammoth Rock n Rye is three days of free live music, two tastings, 30 distilleries, 15 craft breweries and endless fun. Rock out to some of the nation’s finest Americana music for free in the beautiful Eastern Sierra.
Buy Your Tasting Ticket!
One Day – $50
Two Day – $85
VIP Reserve – $120
Just want to listen to music and hang out in the Village at Mammoth? That’s FREE!
Exit Laughing at Edison Theatre
As part of Outside on the Eastside — a colorful fall celebration of arts, culture and recreation — Exit Laughing is a theatre production written by Paul Elliot and directed by Juliana Olinka. The Golden Girls meets Magic Mike in this heartfelt, laugh-out-loud comedy about life and death. Tickets are $20 for general admission, $18 for seniors and students, and $10 for children and starts at 7 pm.
Cam Zink Ride MTB Ride Session at MMSA
With an impressive list of wins and accomplishments in the mountain biking world, Cam Zink is no stranger to the dirt. Spend a weekend hitting the trails of Mammoth Mountain’s famed bike park with personalized coaching from Cam himself. Improve your skills with one of the most down to earth, knowledgeable riders and spend some time on the USA Cycling Nationals Dual Slalom Course.
Bike Park ticket or pass and own equipment is required. Rental equipment is available from the Adventure Center at Main Lodge. Must be an experienced intermediate to advanced downhill mountain bike rider to participate. Space is limited to 20 riders – sign up early.
CALL 800.MAMMOTH TO SIGN UP
Minaret Vista Instameet
Join the Visit Mammoth team, locals, visitors and everything in between to shoot photos with people that share the same passion. Making friends and being creative is what it’s all about. We’ll be shooting photos of the sunset over the Minarets and then diving into night sky photography. The fun starts at 5:30 pm and continues until 9:30 pm. It’s a new moon, so the stargazing and photo opportunities will be exceptional. This Instameet is free and open to everyone! Bring warm layers.
The Village at Mammoth Summer Movie Series
This is your last chance! Take your favorite blanket and grab a chair in The Village this Thursday for a fun movie under the Sierra sky. The movie will be viewed on a large outdoor screen in the plaza, showtime just after sunset.
This Week’s Movie: Star Wars The Force Awakens
Mammoth Market Sidewalk Sale
Check out sidewalk sales from many businesses in Mammoth Lakes during three weekends of the year – Memorial Day, July 4th and Labor Day. These are the only weekends of the year to catch sales like these, so keep an eye out for them and steal some sweet deals on your Mammoth Lakes vacation!
Labor Day Festival of the Arts
As part of Outside on the Eastside, Mono Arts Council presents the Annual Labor Day Festival of the Arts held in the unique forest setting of Sam’s Wood Site. Set high among the pines, this world class festival provides fairgoers a beautiful viewing and buying experience.
Join a local naturalist for a free, fun, family-friendly evening program on topics ranging from Eastern Sierra wildlife to the night sky. Program begins at 7 pm and all are welcome to this free 1-hour event!
Park in the lower parking lot at the Mammoth Lakes Welcome Center (a California Welcome Center) at 2510 Main Street. Follow the wide dirt trail to the New Shady Rest Campground Amphitheater.
Woolly’s Summer Saturdays
Join Woolly for his last Summer Saturday with a bike ride down the Discovery Trail followed by family fun at the Adventure Center. After the bike ride, Woolly will hang out for face painting and a frozen summer treat. Woolly’s Summer Saturdays is for kids of all ages.
12:45 pm – Meet Woolly at the bottom of Discovery Chair 11 for the ride. A ticket is required to participate in the ride. Each child receives a bike race plate for the ride and medal afterwards.
1 pm – Ride with Woolly
1 pm – Face painting, balloons and frozen treats at the Adventure Center
2 pm – Farewell to Woolly
Live Music at the Adventure Center
Go chill on the grass of the Adventure Center at Main Lodge for some mountain views and afternoon tunes from Ryan Hiller on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Let the kids loose on the climbing wall, zipline and Eurobungy or grab a bite at the outdoor deck at the Yodler restaurant and bar.
Mono Lake Canoe Tours
The Mono Lake Committee leads guided canoe tours on Mono Lake on Saturdays and Sundays from late June through Labor Day weekend. Meet at Navy Beach Road Lee Vining, CA 93541. Tours begin at 8, 9, and 11 am and last about one hour. The $25 tour is an amazing way to get up close and personal with the iconic Tufa Towers.
Ambush at the Lake: Fall Fishing Derby
As part of Outside on the Eastside, the Ambush at the Lake fishing derby costs $15 to enter and includes a commemorative pin and a chance to win. Competition runs sunrise to sunset, and all fish caught 14 inches or longer are eligible to be registered. Each person with a registered fish will be entered into the prize drawing for the derby. Prize winners will be posted within 30 days of the last day of the derby.
How much more exciting could things get here in Mammoth Lakes?
According to Josh from Mammoth Lakes:
Mammoth Mountain has just announced that they will stay open for top to bottom skiing until July 4th! Take advantage of the awesome weather this month and ski, bike, golf in the same epic day. Ski on amazing spring snow in the morning then hop on your mountain bike in the afternoon for the ultimate mammoth day.
The month of June is the perfect time to adventure in the mountains. Use Mammoth Lakes as your base camp and take a trip to one of the stunning national parks and scenic hotspots close by. Access to Yosemite National Park is now available and Bodie State Historic Park is open and ready to give you a true wild west experience. Mono Lake and the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest are also close by.
Longer days mean more fun in the sun enjoying the wildflower bloom while hiking or hanging out at some of the best events in California. Don’t miss events like the action packed Monster Energy Motocross and the premiere Mammoth Half Marathon and 5K. June has also been dubbed as “Learn to Fish” month, so it’s time to get out on the water and cast a line for the first time.
If that’s not enough to keep you here or make you want to come for the summer, I don’t know what will.
Come on and enjoy the festivities with us!