The Methuselah Tree, NOT!

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Shortly after picking up my new camera, I became a member of the Reno Photo Club and immediately became intimidated by the skills of the members of the club.

They have amateur divisions and professional (thank goodness) and even though it's taken me over a year to get the guts to enter a competition, I've certainly learned a lot from the group.

I took a shine to one member in particular and she had a dream to find the Methuselah Tree in the Ancient Bristle Cone Forest in the White Mountains of California. Being the kind of person that never says never, when she asked me if I wanted to tag along I had to go, no matter what.

Methuselah's location is a tightly held secret of the forest service and Heather had found it so we gathered our equipment, rented a hotel room and headed south.  Unfortunately the bright moon did not allow us to take any Milky Way photos but we were able to do some star trails which I'd never done before and the idea of taking pictures of a 4,800 year old tree was absolutely thrilling.

We drove several hours south to the town of Big Pine and after leaving our gear in the hotel room, we headed up the mountain to scope out the site in the daylight.

After a long, long drive up the mountain to 10,100' and a short climb up to a very easy to find tree, we set up our shots then headed back down the mountain to get some sleep and some food.

We got to sleep about 10 and woke up at 1:30am and got up the mountain. In the dark and half asleep, we walked up the trail to the tree. The cameras got set up, we were in focus and intervalometers were set, all we had to do was hope to get the shots tonight.

The temperature dropped to a very chilly 28 degrees and Heather didn't have much of a coat so we cut it short at 45 minutes of shots (about 150) with the shots set up to take every 15 seconds.

Hoping we got the shots, at 4:00am, we loaded our equipment and came back down the mountain for a long nap.

I came home and set to stacking the photos and getting the image exactly how I'd dreamed and here is the result.

I could not be happier

The interesting thing about this photo is that we found out that it is NOT the Methuselah Tree. It's location remains a secret but the photo is still lovely.

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Peace and Love,