Sunday, June 7, 2009

Rocky Mountain Bristlecone Pines.........Going, Going, Gone?

Last weekend we made our first trip up Mt Evans, one of the best places to photograph the Rocky Mountain Bristlecone Pine. This particular pine is one of the Icons of the Mt Evans/Mt Goliath Forest. Now, however, the Pine Beetle is threatening to wipe out the entire Front Range Population. We were told at the Mt Goliath Visitor's Center that one population in the Front Range, at St Marys, had already fallen victim to the beetle. Some of the tress at Mt Goliath weren't looking too good either. Bristlecones thrive on harsh weather. In fact the Rocky Mountain variety only lives about half as long as the White Mountain population because the climate here isn't harsh enough! Milder climate equals faster growth, equals shorter lifespan. This winter was really mild, keeping the beetle alive, and making the Bristlecones more susceptible. Another victim, perhaps, of Global Climate Change?

I call these the 'Three Sisters". They are not located at Mt Goliath, but at a location I will not disclose for their own protection. Unfortunately there are a lot of disrespectful people who vandalize these trees and other types of natural and historic sites in the mountains.

Film: Ilford ISO 400, my favorite B&W film. Available from my B&W film and darkroom supplier Freestyle Photo.

These Ancient Forest Portraits were taken with my Mamiya 645 Pro TL (shown right, with Don's Mamiya Pro on left), with a 45mm Mamiya Secor C f2.8 wide angle lens.


  1. Gorgeous photographs! I just started to fall in love with old cameras after I found a 1956 Kodak Duaflex in my grandma's closet and it still had expired film in it. I couldn't believe my luck! I was able to finish off the roll and got some awesome pictures.

  2. Hi K,

    I went up to the Bristlecones yesterday after coming back from CCSM. There is a great trail there that I walked as well. I may take a group up there for a ranager talk. They are indeed fun. Have you gone to the grove near Alma?