Moai on Easter Island

Moai on Easter Island

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Lessons from the Stars

The White Mountain Range of California is yet another place that I have always wanted to visit.  These remote desert mountains are home to California's 3rd highest peak and hundreds of acres of Bristlecone Pines-some of the oldest trees on earth. 

The oldest living tree (4850ish years old) is now in the White Mountains.  Until 1964 the oldest tree (4860ish years old) was in Great Basin National Park.  It was cut down by a grad student with the permission  of the USFS.

Ancient Bristlecone Pine trees in the White Mountains

I camped just above 11,000 feet and tried my hand at some night photography.  I've always seen photos of star trails and wanted to try it out.  I learned a lot by just taking a few photos.

16 minute exposure-my first ever star trail shot

It is frustrating to stay up most of the night and only get a few photos.  I would set up a shot and set me alarm to wake up in a few hours to check it out.  It was much colder than I expected up there and the battery in my camera and remote kept dying so none of the multi-hour exposures ever worked out.  

My second attempt with 22 minutes.

Middle of the night-from my sleeping bag

Looking north across the high-arid plateau of the White Mountains to Boundary Peak from White Mountain Peak

Looking back to the 14,000 foot White Mountain.  Yes, there is actually a "road" to the research station on top.

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