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Bristlecone Pine
 
Windy Ridge

 The Bristlecone Pine is the oldest living tree on earth. Bristlecones in Colorado have been dated as old as 2,500 years. Yet they are just children compared to the Bristlecone of the Sierras which have been dated as old as 6,000 years.

"Great age usually combines something of memorable beauty and a measure of the grotesque. This is true of the bristlecone pine tree, oldest of all living things. Gnarled, twisted, tortured, it bears witness to centuries of battle with the elements. Sandblasted trunks gleam gold and silver.....Green banners of new growth wave triumphantly over dead branches. The bristlecone pine stands monument to a conquering will to survive against all odds. "

"Centuries rolled past. Millennium gave way to millennium and still the bristlecone lived on, not in spite of handicaps, but because of them. In the bristlecone we have an example of marvelously persistent life force. This extraordinary plant thrives on adversity. Where the bristlecones receive sufficient moisture, good soil, best of growing conditions, they develop into luxuriant, attractive trees. They are then short-lived."

"Only when they face the fiercest of the elements do they live unusually long lives."

"...the scarred and wounded bristlecone proclaimed a steadfast courage. These weather gales. They know how to handle the rough "

A Strew of Wonder, by Roberta Fiester
 

Way up in the mountains on a high timberline, there's a twisted old tree called the Bristlecone Pine. The wind there is bitter; it cuts like a knife. It keeps that tree holding on for dear life.

But hold on it does, standing its ground. Standing as empires rise and fall down. When Jesus was gathering lambs to his fold, the tree was already a thousand years old.

Now the way I have lived there ain't no way to tell, when I die if I'm going to heaven or hell. So when I'm laid to rest it would suit me just fine to sleep at the feet of the Bristlecone Pine.

And as I would slowly return to this earth what little this body of mine might be worth would soon start to nourish the roots of that tree. And it would partake of the essence of me.

And who knows what's found as the centuries turn. A small spark of me might continue to burn. As long as the sun does continue to shine down on the limbs of the Bristlecone Pine.

Now the way I have lived there ain't no way to tell, when I die if I'm going to heaven or hell. When I'm laid to rest it would suit me just fine to sleep at the feet of the Bristlecone Pine....
To sleep at the feet of the Bristlecone Pine.

Way up in the mountains on a high timberline, there's a twisted old tree called the Bristlecone Pine. The wind there is bitter; it cuts like a knife. And it keeps that tree holding on for dear life.

But hold on it does, standing its ground. Standing as empires rise and fall down. When Jesus was gathering lambs to his fold, the tree was already a thousand years old.

Now the way I have lived there ain't no way to tell, when I die if I'm going to heaven or hell. So when I'm laid to rest it would suit me just fine to sleep at the feet of the Bristlecone Pine.

To sleep at the feet of the Bristlecone Pine.
To sleep at the feet of the Bristlecone Pine.

Music and Lyrics by
Hugh Prestwood
© Hugh Prestwood Music

Bristlecone Pine
Bristlecone Pine
1:35

MP3 Format

From the
Music From The Mountains Album

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Photos - Bristlecone Pines at Windy Ridge, Colorado, by Barbara Heckendorn