Bristlecone Pine, White Mountains, CA

Bristlecone Pine, White Mountains, California

High in the White Mountains of California on the eastern side of the Sierra you will find the Bristlecone Pine trees. Some are over 4000 years old and one was found to be 4,950 years old. That would be before the pyrimids were being built. These trees live in sparse groves ranging in elevation of 9,000 to over 11,000 feet (2743 to over 3352 meters) above sea level. They grow in dolomite and alkaline layers where not much else can grow so they are not that susceptible to disease or insect infestations. You can find out more about these fascinating trees on the internet if you are interested.


Bark Design on Bristlecone Pine, White Mountains, California









Moving slowly and breathing hard at that elevation gave me the chance to observe these fascinating trees up close. Their gnarled, dry dense bark offers wonderful colors and textures to photograph. As I set up to photograph the side of one of the trees, I envisioned the subject as a vertical format. I wasn't satisfied with what I was seeing through the lens, so I stepped back and studied the scene again. That is when I saw what appeared to be, at least to me, the head of a horse that would be looking to the right with the wind blowing it's mane. So I photographed it vertically, turned it 90 degrees in post processing, printed it horizontally and added it to my "Faces of Nature" collection.