This is taken on the road up the the Bristlecone Pine area of the White Mountains in California, above the town of Big Pine. (The dead tree is not a bristlecone.) This viewpoint is at about 8000 feet and the view here is looking south.
The town of Lone Pine, California is located along Highway 395 northwest of Death Valley National Park. Lone Pine was a location used in many western movies and some TV shows. It also provides one of the access points for climbing Mt Whitney (the highest point in the continental 48). The image above shows a clearing storm moving right to left across the Sierras. In the distance is just a sliver of Owens Lake (drained to provide water for Los Angeles).
The image below is taken from about the same location, but looking east towards the White Mountains. Lone Pine lies in the valley.
Just to be clear, the dead pine was found up at 8000 feet in the White Mountains of central California… it isn’t the proper species name. But I thought it had an interesting shape and the clouds were nice. Wish I had gotten down on my knees and had the tree silhouetted against the sky. But I’m not sure I would have been able to get back up. Besides, it was windy and cold and I wanted to get back to the car.
These two images are of the same Bristlecone Pine, but just from a slightly different spot. I like them both and thought it was interesting how a slight change in shooting angle/location can change an image so much. A reminder of one of the basic rules of photography: Keep your feet moving and work the shot.
This Bristlecone Pine was growing right on top of a rock pile. My guess is that at one point in the past, the soil was present on top of the rock and has since eroded. The erosion of soil around the root systems is one of the causes of death for bristlecones. That’s one of the reasons that they request visitors to stay on the pathways: to keep erosion to a minimum.