Photography in the west of the United States is rich in discovered and strange places.

Bristlecone pine tree

Bristlecone pine tree, CaliforniaCurrently, the oldest (acknowledged) living organism known is an individual of Pinus longaeva nicknamed "Methuselah" (after Methuselah, the longest-lived person in the Bible), located in the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest in the White Mountains of eastern California, and measured by core samples to be about 4,700 years old. The U.S. Forest Service does not reveal the actual position of "Methuselah" in the bristlecone grove, in order to protect the tree. A bristlecone older than "Methuselah", named "Prometheus", was cut down in 1964. The other two species are also long-lived, though not to the extreme extent of P. longaeva; specimens of both have been measured or estimated to be up to 3,000 years old. It is rumored that a specimen older than "Methuselah" has been discovered, but this has not been widely publicized for fear that it might somehow meet the same fate as "Prometheus".

Bristlecone pines grow in isolated groves at and just below the tree line. Because of cold temperatures, dry soils, high winds, and short growing seasons, the trees grow very slowly. The wood is very dense and resinous, and thus resistant to invasion by insects, fungi, and other potential pests. As the tree ages, much of its bark may die, in very old specimens often leaving only a narrow strip of living tissue to connect the roots to the handful of live branches. (Source Wikipedia)

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