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Sitting at the foot of Colorado's 22nd highest peak, Mt. Bross, The gnarled, wind twisted branches of a bristlecone pine reaches towards the heavens. Bristlecone pines are one of the worlds oldest living organisms. Some of the oldest are approaching 5,000 years in age. Meaning they were already somewhere around 1,400 years old before the Egyptians built the great pyramids. I've always admired the bristlecone pine for their toughness. The trees themselves are a paradox. Their age goes up with the harshness of their conditions. Bristlecones that grow where water and soil are abundant, grow too fast and die young. Trees with the most stressed conditions grow stubbornly, extremely slow and very hard. This is why most groves of bristlecone pines lie in very undesireable locations. The trees here on aptly named Windy Ridge are a modest 1,000 years old. While making this image I marveled at the thought of how old this tree was, and how different the world must have been 1,000 years ago when it first started to grow.
Bristlecone Pine - Windy Ridge - Mosquito Range - Colorado
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