Last week, while we were up in Bishop, California to attend Mule Days, Jonathan and I made a day trip up the Ancient Bristlecone National Forest in the White Mountains to see the oldest living non-clonal organisms in the world.
On our drive up to Schulman Grove we stopped to see some other type of pine.
Up at Schulman Grove it was colder than I expected and I didn’t have gloves with me. The metal interpretive signs were surprisingly hot baking in the sun — so I stopped at each one to warm my hands.
We started our main hike at 10,000 feet above sea level. It had just snowed that morning and it made everything seem particularly epic. One of my friends on Instagram said it looked Gameofthrones-ish.
The oldest living tree they have dated in Schulman Grove is over 5,000. It’s the world’s oldest recorded living non-clonal organism. There are also a number of dead trees and some of them have been dated back as far as 12,000 years.
I did some Mitochondrial DNA testing a few years ago, and that was back when some of my ancestors (soon to be Scandinavian vikings) were still living in modern day Turkey. 12,000 years in human history is a really long time ago. But geological time barely blinks.
Up close grain of the wood. It can survive with most of it’s bark gone.
The interpretive signs said that most of the trees eventually die because erosion uncovers their roots and exposed them to root diseases. In a few thousand years over 2′ of soil may erode due to wind, etc.
The needles are surprisingly soft, it was like shaping the hand of a muppet.
In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.
One of these trees might be the oldest tree they have identified. To protect the tree from vandalism they intentionally don’t mark it, but it is in this area.
My husband playing in with snow. He is adorbs.
The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.
And then…. the next day….. we went petroglyph hunting in Red Canyon.
Photos of that next week!