While fighting the elements of fierce winds and weather the Bristlecone Pine will twist and bend into fascinating shapes in an effort to survive. Considered the oldest non-cloned tree in the world, the pine is viewed as a natural beauty to some and an eyesore to others. Could that be comparable to our own aging process?
The Bristlecone Pines of the Sierras in California have a recorded life of 6,000 years, while the pines growing in the Windy Ridge of Colorado have rings that have a confirmed life of 2,000 years. They are found 7,000 feet or more above sea level. In some instances the soil at these elevations may stay frozen all year! Without a thaw the pines will retain their needles for many years; most other pines shed their needles annually. The Bristlecone Pine will grow 40-60 feet tall and can reach 12” to 30” in diameter. Due to extreme weather conditions some of the pines will appear as though they are bending in half. This is their effort to stand strong and fight the elements. Interestingly, some seeds may transfer to lower elevations but those trees will not take on the unique appearance of those at higher elevations, proving it really is the harsh conditions at these elevations that give these trees their unique shape.
The oldest living non-cloned tree on Earth has been given the name “Methuselah” after Noah’s father who had the longest life span in the Bible. The National Park Service keeps Methuselah’s location a secret because of its age and their “protected” status, although it is located somewhere in California’s White Mountains.
You will recognize the older Bristlecone Pines by the unique twisting of the trunk and branches. Then it’s up to you to decide – do you view it as something of beauty, or not?
About the Print of the Month
The Print of the Month is a new print offered at an early-edition discount. Normal pricing must apply once the print is offered by a gallery.
The Print of the Month is a silver gelatin print, each one created by hand using traditional darkroom methods.
Prints are limited to 50 per edition.
Typically the Print of the Month is made from a T-Max 100 negative, which is processed in D-76 mixed 1:1.
Each fine art print is made by hand using Ilford-based double weight paper.
The prints are double fixed and selenium toned for longevity. They are then washed in a vertical print washer to completely eliminate any residue. Prints are carefully allowed to dry for two days. Next, each print is mounted on museum quality archival mat boards with acid-free mounting tissue. Although each print takes a considerable amount of time and meticulous effort, this archival printing and mounting process is the only way to ensure print permanence and collectability. Give it proper care and your print will last hundreds of years without fading.
My signature and the print number are visible on the mat, below the print.