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Happy 5523rd New Year!

Happy New Year to ancient bristlecone pines, some vigorous and living in this scene, and some monuments to millenia of tenacity.

The entire span of human civilization made visible in a sculpture of wood, and with the entire history of the USA but the blink of an eye, perhaps 5 inches of wood thickness (at 0.5mm thick or less per year, as per the growth rings). But this tree likely died before the first sailing Europeans arrived on these shores. Half a lifetime would pass before even the bark fell off.

At a likely 5000 years old when it died and another 500 standing like this but with 500 years or so still to go before toppling from erosion and near-nil rot, the last remnant will finally be gone in another 5000 years or so. This wood does not rot; it slowly erodes in the harsh weather here at ~11800 feet.

I understand that the missing soil around the roots is the result of topsoil loss of about 1mm or less per year (if I remember correctly). Maybe it is true, and those root are in fact exposed. But if a tree lives 5000 years (some do), there should be a lot of 'em with highly exposed roots, and I don’t see that. So it sounds like BS to me.

Wood remnants exist even well above 12000' elevation in treeless areas, higher than youngest saplings here in 2023, a proof that the weather was much warmer than today not that long ago historically speaking.

Weathered Bristlecone Trunks
f9 @ 1/60 sec electronic shutter focus stack 6 frames, ISO 100; 2023-08-12 16:38:15
Fujifilm GFX100S + GF20-35mmF4 R WR @ 28.8mm equiv (35mm)
ENV: White Mountains, altitude 11800 ft / 3597 m, 55°F / 12°C
RAW: Adobe Color, Enhance Details, LACA corrected, vignetting corrected, WB 5100°K tint 21, push 0.8 stops, +60 Shadows, +30 Whites, +10 Clarity, AI Denoise 10, USM {8,50,0}, diffraction mitigating sharpening, +10 Vibrance

[low-res image for bot]
White Mountains, Green August
f8 @ 1/90 sec electronic shutter panorama 4 frames, ISO 100; 2023-08-12 17:54:41
Fujifilm GFX100S + Fujifilm GF 35-70mm f/4.5-5.6 WR @ 57.6mm equiv (70mm)
ENV: White Mountains, altitude 11800 ft / 3597 m, 55°F / 12°C
RAW: Camera PROVIA, Enhance Details, LACA corrected, vignetting corrected, WB 5200°K tint 21, push 0.8 stops, +20 Whites, +30 Dehaze, +10 Clarity, AI Denoise 10, USM {6,50,0}, diffraction mitigating sharpening, +10 Vibrance

[low-res image for bot]

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