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Nighttime bristlecone pine forest in the White Mountains with the stars and the Milky Way

A bristlecone pine in the White Mountains of California under the stars of the Milky Way

Bristlecone Cosmos

The ancient bristlecone pine forest high up in the White Mountains on the eastern slopes of the Sierra Nevada in California grows at an altitude between 3000 and 3400 m (9800 and 11,000 ft) under arid high alpine conditions. They are the oldest living trees in the world. Some of these trees are over 4000 years old and the oldest is estimated to be 5068 years old. Their spectacular growth forms and their beautifully bright orange-yellow, twisted bark and wood can be admired at Schulman Grove and Patriarch Grove. The bristle pines are scientifically called Pinus longaeva and grow up to 15 m (49 ft) tall.
A nighttime bristlecone pine forest belongs to one of the most bizarre places on our planet. Although these solitary gnarled trees seem to be dead, they carry a few living branches and enjoy the nightly view into deep space.

August 2006
Canon 20D, EF-S 10-22mm, f/3.5, 45sec with 10 seconds flash-fire, ISO 3200, tripod

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