The Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest sits planted among the White Mountains in Eastern California, opposite the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains and overlooking the vast Owens Valley. It’s home to some of the oldest trees on Earth, with the oldest living tree estimated to be just over 5,000 years old.
Despite their age, these trees remain in remarkable condition in the thin, dry air at over 10,000 feet. Their structure grows and forms in spirals with branches and knots twisting to form beautiful shapes with warm, rusty tones splitting in to deep blue and grey creases.
The setting of these trees along the chalky, loose rubble mountain slopes is stunning in itself, but its high altitude and remoteness also offer some of the darkest night skies in California.
This particular photo is of a famous tree in the forest. Long dead now, but very much alive as a photography subject. In June, the Milky Way rises behind it at an angle and sets a mesmerising backdrop to an almost sinister looking set of reaching branches from this ancient relic.
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