Jan 212014

How old are the oldest living trees?  Bristlecone Pines were growing for 300 years before the pyramids were being built in Egypt.  Adversity promotes long life and these trees live where survival is the most difficult.
Bristlecone Pines
These multi-trunked trees, are gnarled and twisted by wind whipped sand and ice that scour the dead wood smooth and beautiful.  Instead of rotting, the wood erodes like stone.  For survival, trees need rain – but this area receives some of the lowest amounts per year.  Also, trees need soil – but the area consists of quartzite boulders.
Bristlecone Pine Tree
Since one section of the tree may die a couple thousand years before another part, capturing the oldest part of the tree in a core sample is very difficult.  Sadly, before the area became a national park, a live bristlecone pine was cut down and sectioned to get an accurate reading of its growth rings.

At 4,900 years old, Prometheus became the oldest known tree.  According to ancient Greek myths, Prometheus was an immortal who brought fire, symbolic of knowledge, to humans.  This bristlecone pine was thus named, since it had given so much knowledge to humans through carbon dating and climate data.BristleCone Pines 1
Wheeler Peak Grove is an easy walk on a well-marked trail in the Great Basin National Park.  Enjoy a picnic lunch in the campground and then pack some water, hiking poles and a camera for this unique experience.  It’s well worth visiting an area that symbolizes western fortitude, with the rocky appearance of Mars.

More great travel pictures at Travel Photo Monday

Jul 092013

Oh, give me a home where the buffalo roam?  And I’ll show you some fresh buffalo chips! buffalo roaming antelope island blog
Visiting Utah’s Antelope Island State Park is the best way to view the Great Salt Lake, America’s Dead Sea.  The largest Island on the Great Salt Lake is home to a roaming herd of over 500 bison.

Bison roam anywhere they want to, and they may find your car side-mirrors ideal for scratching where it itches.  Explaining this damage on your car insurance claim may be difficult!

Pronghorn Antelope by Dave Menke, USFWS copyThe Antelope Island’s name came from the Pronghorns that populate the island.  They resemble the African antelope and apparently the North American cowboys didn’t want to call this place, Pronghorn Island.

Also, buffalo don’t roam anywhere in North America.  The bison resembles the African Buffalo, but singing about “where the bison roams” just doesn’t sound right.

Picture 281 copyOur grandsons are looking for signs that the buffalo herd had been there.

The island has many hiking and biking trails for them to enjoy.  But for now, the camping, sandy beaches, and exploring the historical Garr Ranch with us and their parents are more fun for them.

The bison and Pronghorn Antelope have long been a part of the island’s history and this is a great way to see nature living a free roaming life.

This white statue is the only kind of bison I would feel safe to have roaming near my home.  Through the openings, you can view the seven mile long causeway leading to Antelope Island.Blog buffalo
Blog buffalo causeway

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