In White Mountains of California, just north of Death Valley, there is an amazing and wondrous place: The Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest. This ancient forest is home to trees that are as old as 4,700 years old – which scientists have measured by counting the tree rings on dead specimens. They live at the very edge of the treeline at high-alttitues (up to 11,000 feet above sea level). These trees were “born” before many of the ancient saints and sages in world history, and they still keep growing – with their roots deep in the earth and their leaves reaching up to soak in the sunlight.
For a long time Bristolecone pines were thought to be the oldest on earth, but now researchers in Sweden claim to have found a spruce tree that is almost 10,000 years old. Being on top of a mountain makes me feel physically small and insignificant. Reading about these ancient trees that have lived through all of recorded history, makes me feel rather young and inexperienced.