|That's me at 11,000 feet at the Bristlecone Pine forest in the White Mountains of California|
High in the White Mountains of California, above 10,000 feet, grow the oldest living trees on earth. Many of the ancient Bristlecone Pines here have lived more than 40 centuries. The Bristlecone Pines in this forest started as seedlings when the pyramids of Egypt were being built. They only grow in six states of the Western USA, and the oldest of them are in the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest of the White Mountains of California, where this shot was taken of me when I visited.
These Bristlecone Pines thrive in the harshest of conditions in the highest altitudes, between 10,000 and 11,000 feet. These trees live longer than any other living tree in the world. Some of the downed wood, like what you see in this shot I took in the White Mountains of California, date back to the last ice age. The average age of these trees is 1,000 years old. But there are a few still living that have been around for over 4,000 years.
This is the Patriarch Grove, which is named after the oldest living tree that resides unmarked in this area. The "Methuselah" tree is somewhere in this grove at the White Mountains, and is over 4,767 years old. It is not marked due to fears of vandalism. The Methuselah Tree is the oldest living organism that is known and documented, with an estimated germination of 2832 BC.
They don't tell you exactly where it is when you visit these trees in the White Mountains. It's identity is a closely-guarded secret.
I recorded a song about the Bristlecones, the live recording of "Bristlecone Pine" (from 2001). It was written by Hugh Prestwood) and is my only duet with a Raven who wanted to sing along...