A stand of Quaking Aspens clothed in peak autumn color lines the banks of Bishop creek, high in California's Eastern Sierra Nevada.
On Tahquitz Rock, a winter cloud engulfs the mountain, as this lonely tree clings to its home on a granite wall. We broke fresh snow on a cross country climb via the south face of the mountain in 20 degrees with 20mph winds and fresh ice. It was frigid, but the landscape was ethereal in its beauty.
This little tree is only about 4 feet tall, and I photographed it from a rather precarious spot on an adjacent 4th class ledge. Notice all the little icicles hanging from its limbs!
It's hard to imagine all the winter storms and summer heat this little tree has weathered, all the while clinging to its little ledge and forming a venerable life there.
These baby Aspen trees have just taken root in the ashes of a grove of Jeffrey pines which had probably stood for hundreds of years but were killed along with millions of other trees in a very short time during a human-caused wildfire this past summer in the mountains of Southern California.