Monday, March 23, 2015

Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest

Dale Matson

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Bristlecone Pine

We made time for a visit to the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest on our way back to Fresno from Mammoth CA. The Bristlecone Pines are considered to be the oldest species of trees on earth. There was a second and unexpected benefit on our one-mile Discovery Trail loop tour above 10,000’. We had a spectacular view of the eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains from the White Mountains where the pines are located. It was wonderful to see the Sierras white with snow during this extended California draught. The directions are here.

We were fortunate to be able to view them this time of year. I suppose in a normal snow year at that elevation, the road would be closed to the site. The weather was clear, cool but comfortable and traffic light. For a more detailed background on the Bristlecone Pines view this link.

There is something almost mystical about touching a tree with such a long history. It appeared to me that one of the biggest dangers to a tree with such longevity is erosion. Many pines had the surrounding soil layers partially washed and/or blown away from the roots. The photographs were taken with an older Contax/Yashica Zeiss 28-70 lens adapted to my Sony A7R.

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