White Mountains California | Photo Art Print
The white Mountains Eastern California
Driving through the White Mountains takes you through desolate scrub foothills and up narrow and steep grades until you reach above eleven thousand feet. The air is dry and the terrain harsh. Vegetation at this height has thinned considerably, as you can see if this landscape photograph. White dolomite shards cover the high slopes of these mountains, and thus, the name 'White Mountains.'
Near the summit of the White Mountains is one of the driest regions on Earth. Deserts are defined not by heat but by a low presence of water. At this elevation, precipitation is likely to be snow or ice.
This harsh environment is where these bristlecone pines survive best. On the hillside here, you can see numerous dead bristlecone pines. Some of the dead, petrified trees date back 10,000 years. It is incredible that these trees can survive in such conditions; the length of their lives is even more so. Some people will say that the bristlecone pine is the oldest living organism on Earth.
© Dan Kosmayer, 2009
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