Many adventurous spirits have been lured by their curiosity to catch sight of the twisted and distinctive forms of high elevation white pines. These irreplaceable and unique ecosystems are highly valued by many. They are seen as symbols of patience, perseverance, and tolerance. The trees themselves are appreciated for their artistic forms and extreme longevity. find a source of aesthetic enjoyment and appreciate the habitat they provide for wildlife, watershed protection, and even a little shade on a sunny high mountain day.
These pines have been the motivation and focal point of varied artistic expressions. Many have conveyed their respect and awe through music, writing, art, photography and other types of media. Although it is difficult to quantify exactly and precisely how these tree are significant in our culture, it is undeniable that they are and countless have been moved by their experiences in their own unique way.
There are many references to these wondrous trees throughout our society. Here are just a few examples:
"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."
Lyrics from the bristlecone pine song written by Hugh Prestwood. More lyrics.
To hear a clip of it performed by Jim Salestrom click here.
Lyric from "We Are One Family" by Issac Bonewits. More details
"As dawn breaks, my backlighted silhouette,
gnarled and twisted by forces that ebb and flow
across time and space, stands a silent watch.
My stark, misshapen, still rugged body
has adapted well to that over
which I have had no dominion.
Designated by design or default
as the chronicler of decades, centuries,
and millennia, I anchor time to space
on a subalpine bed of dolomite,
my wellspring of life.
With regards from an old Bristlecone Pine"
Exerpt of a poem by "To Whom It May Concern:" by Frances Johnson. More details
Krummholtz Poem by Alan Sullivan
"...the scarred and wounded bristlecone proclaimed a steadfast courage. These weather gales. They know how to handle the rough times. They survive. I could learn from them."
"Only when they face the fiercest of the elements do they live unusually long lives."
Quotes from A Strew of Wonder: The story of. - the Bristlecone pine at Windy Ridge, Colorado by Roberta Fiester published by the Summit Historical Society, 1993.
A garden of bristlecones - tale of change in the Great Basin by Michael Cohen; published by University of Nevada Press, 1998.
Bibliography of written Bristlecone Pines resources
Jane Braxton writes about her experience visiting bristlecone pines in California