White Mountains, California
As the summer fires raged in California, I explored the White Mountains, filled with groves of ancient Bristlecone pine trees, and home to the oldest living thing (The Methusala Tree) on earth. The age of the trees (up to 5000 years) is not the only intriguing thing about them; it is how they survive for so long that makes them one of the most inspiring stories in nature. They thrive in a low-oxygen, harsh environment, well above where most things can survive. When I found this Bristlecone, once-burned and now dead, in the incredible shape of a flame against the backdrop of the indigo mountains (colored purple due to the devastating fires), I knew I was a witness to something profound.