We all have less than a month of work left in Carson City, NV and we all went on a week-long seed collecting trip that took us next to the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest in the White Mountains. It was a unique botany experience to see the gnarled trunks of Pinus longaeva rise up out of the alkaline dolomite soil, in some cases the tangled roots wrap around large rocks forever keeping them from rolling downhill. The ancient P. longeava are a magnificent sight to behold.
At the top of the mountain I discovered a baby pine cone that held little nodules of sap between its tiny scales. As the sunlight reflected off of the little sap bubbles it gave the appearance of gold flakes resting between the tine blue scales.
Within the ancient P. longeava forest we chanced upon an old mine with dilapidated cabins and mine shafts still standing. Near one of the hidden dilapidated cabins there were trees that presented carved hearts in their trunks. Whoever carved these hearts carved them deep into the heartwood; they have left a lasting scar on the trees.