Thursday, October 13, 2005

The white mountains

I've never been to the White Mountains. They lie on the border between California and Nevada just northeast of Death Valley.

They are home to the oldest living plant the "bristlecone Pine" or Pinus longeava.

Trees produce annual growth rings in temperate climates due to the differential precipitation among seasons. Thus, they grow a lot in the spring. The oldest living organism on the planet was chopped down in 1967 by a group of mad happy foresters. It was at least 16,000 years old (it had 16000+ growth rings). The current oldest living bristlecone pine is about 12000 years old; meaning that it first made it's maiden trip up out of the soil about 12 millenia. Anazing no?


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