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Monday, August 25, 2014

White Mountains of California...



And the Ancient Bristlecone Pines Groves. 

With the passing of Prometheus (see Great Basin I post) another of Earth's old timers was found along the wind blown slopes of the White Mountains. 
His name is Methuselah, and he's around 4800 years young. A diaper dandy compared to the still growing Prometheus who weighed in at around 5200 years in 1964. 

The Forest Service employees won't divulge the exact location of where Methuselah has been hanging for almost five millennium. They'll just say, "He's out there along the 4.5 mile trail!" I was even willing to do a double secret handshake, and bribe them with IPAs if they spilled the beans. No go. These birds weren't singing.

So...I took an amble among these barely green senior citizens and made a few guesses on which one was Methuselah. When I knew no one was watching, I hugged a few of them. I can't speak for the pines, but it made me feel better.

Fun Factoid: the oldest Bristlecones pines live in the most marginal locations. They can be found where the winds shriek, the soils are thread bare and moisture is an after-thought. These tough guys have an almost "Is that the best shot you got?" attitude when dealing with the worst Mother Nature can throw at them. 
These trees inspire me.

I had to shoot the photo of the pine with barely enough needles to fill a gallon jug, yet he managed to produce one lonely cone. Now that's survival of the species!

Good night before I go "sappy" on you.
Jeff 

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