Great Basin National Park, Nevada

Great Basin National Park is in the state of Nevada and lies near the cities of Ely, Border, and Baker in White Pine county. It's received it's name for the being the basin between the Wasatch and Sierra Nevada Mountain ranges. The park was established in 1986 on October 27 and stretches just over 120 square miles attracting over 90,000 visitors annually. There are over 800 types of plants in the park. The oldest living tree ever discover once stood in the park but was cut down in 1964 for research. A wide variety of wildlife exists in the park including multiple types of Rabbits, squirrels, and mice and larger mammals such as Mountain Lions, sheep, bobcats, and deer. Several species of trout are in the parks waters with the Bonneville cutthroat being the only native. Hawks, eagles, and swallows are just some of the types of birds found in the park. The features of the park were largely formed by volcanic and glacial activity. An extensive cave system made up of limestone and marble called Lehman caves can be found in the park. The caves were initially a national park of there own and were absorbed into the Great Basin National Park at it's establishment in 1986.

Great Basin National Park Info


Great Basin National Park

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Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive Temporary Closure

Beginning June 29, 2020 and continuing through July 2, 2020 Wheeler peak Scenic Drive will be closed to public traffic from Upper Lehman Creek Campground to the Wheeler Peak Day Use Parking area.

Management Project Open for Public Review

Lehman Caves Visitor Center Area Fuels Management Project Open for Public Review

Park Releases Snake Creek Study Results

Great Basin National Park is pleased to release the results of a three year study by Colorado State University, National Park Service Water Resource Division, U.S. Geological Survey, and Front Range Community College.

Great Basin National Park Will Temporarily Close

Great Basin National Park is announcing additional modifications to operations in response to guidance from the White Pine County Office of Public Health. The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners is our number one priority. The National Park Service (NPS) is working servicewide with federal, state, and local authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic.

Great Basin National Park Photos

Wild Bonsai 4

Bregalis posted a photo:

Wild Bonsai 4

Fourth in the series ‘Wild Bonsai’, this tree is twenty-three inches (58cm) in height and perhaps four-hundred years old.

'Wild Bonsai' is a numbered collection of photos of naturally occurring bristlecones (p. longaeva) generally less than five feet in height (158cm) and - as nearly as I can estimate - between fifty and five-hundred years old - some much older. Most will have sprouted and survived in tiny cracks and crevases or miniature basins of sand and gravel. Shaped by the elements, flourishing tenaciously in the most minimalist of conditions, their lives are measured not in the millennia of more robust bristlecones, but in centuries...often mere decades.

'Duality', the cover photo for this album, is to me a matriarch of sorts and will remain unnumbered as a small token of a deeply intuitive and unapologetic respect that remains as transcendent and mysterious to me as it may seem odd to others. The essay that accompanies 'Duality' could, in many ways, apply as well to any other tree I may post in this series.

A perspective: Housed in the Tokyo Imperial Palace, the fifth oldest living cultivated bonsai in the world is something over 500 years old and is a designated National Treasure of Japan.

Wild Bonsai 3*

Bregalis posted a photo:

Wild Bonsai 3*

Third in the series ‘Wild Bonsai’, this tree is twenty-four inches (61cm) in height and perhaps six-hundred years old.

'Wild Bonsai' is a numbered collection of photos of naturally occurring bristlecones (p. longaeva) generally less than five feet (1.5m) in height and - as nearly as I can estimate - between fifty and five-hundred years old - some much older. Most will have sprouted and survived in tiny cracks and crevases or miniature basins of sand and gravel. Shaped by the elements, flourishing tenaciously in the most minimalist of conditions, their lives are measured not in the millennia of more robust bristlecones, but in centuries...often mere decades.

'Duality', the cover photo for this album, is to me a matriarch of sorts and will remain unnumbered as a small token of a deeply intuitive and unapologetic respect that remains as transcendent and mysterious to me as it may seem odd to others. The essay that accompanies 'Duality' could, in many ways, apply as well to any other tree I may post in this series.

A perspective: Housed in the Tokyo Imperial Palace, the fifth oldest living cultivated bonsai in the world is something over 500 years old and is a designated National Treasure of Japan.

* in Explore

Shoshin

Bregalis posted a photo:

Shoshin

grave millennia
beyond minds comprehension
beyond arms embrace

singular intent
transcendent beyond knowing
or but a wild dream

to honor this being
and walk away in wonder
diffidence will do

"in the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, in the expert's mind there are few."
Shunryu Suzuki

Eastward Ho!

bob felice posted a photo:

Eastward Ho!

Great Basin National Park picnic shelter detail. I probably should have flipped the picture orientation :)

Satori

Bregalis posted a photo:

Satori

singular stillness
capricious harmony of
dreamtime and daylight

...the secret bower...(1of8)

Bregalis posted a photo:

...the secret bower...(1of8)

Men - especially younger men - do not go into the wilderness to contemplate. They go seeking fulfillment of their own grand vision of themselves. This is why the vagabond young men who, while on a mid-twentieth century ramble, had stumbled upon a massive living tree in probably the most secret bower on earth, and who - with no way of knowing that, at almost five-thousand years, it was in fact the oldest living tree on Earth - decided in the self-actualization of the moment to name it ‘Prometheus’.

Prometheus, of course, was the immortal who, doubling-down on a previous offense in which he had tricked Zeus, stole the hidden fire Zeus had taken from mortal men and gave it back to them. As punishment for this deed, Zeus had Prometheus chained to a rock where every day an eagle flew down to eat his liver anew. As an additional punishment to men, Zeus sent the first woman to Earth. Her name was Pandora.

Pandora carried a box that contained all the evils and ills of mankind, but also contained Hope. When she arrived on Earth, unable to resist taking a peek inside, she cracked open the lid and all the evils and ills flew out. Only Hope, gift of Zeus, remained.

The return of fire would not just warm men and frighten away the beasts of the Earth, but, coupled with the previous gifts bestowed by Prometheus - the arts and sciences - enable them to forge tools and weapons and build machines and use combustive and explosive force to exploit the Earth and all of its inhabitants.

It would be easy to think of Prometheus as being motivated by benevolence in his gifts to the mortal men he had, according to myth, created from clay - Prometheus knowing beforehand that Zeus would levy harsh punishment, yet willing to risk all for the benefit of mankind. It is also possible to envision that the gifts of Prometheus - considering what they have gotten us into - had a more sinister motive. The gods and immortals of myth, after all, have always had their jealousies and rages...and, in addition, Prometheus was a trickster.

Eventually another young man would walk into the secret bower with a vision that, while lacking the innocent aesthetic of those who preceded him, sprung from the same source. He would rename the tree WPN-114. Then, with snarling, slashing, blade in a haze of blue smoke he would cut down WPN-114 and carve it into pieces, leaving the remains - like a figurative Prometheus - bound forever to rock, a gaping void where once there had been a liver - the mythological seat of all emotion. And what he did - and when and where he did it - could be thought of as corresponding to a new era even then beginning to uncoil - the Anthropocene.

So there are a multitude of ironies in the naming of this tree ‘Prometheus’, but the greater irony is that in virtually all gendered ancient languages pine trees are feminine. And in a kinder, more contemplative era this singular tree, if indeed it needed any name at all, would have been recognized as ‘Artemis’.

Beginning in the 8th century BC (about the time WPN-114 would have already been growing peacefully in its isolated mountain bower for twenty-two hundred years), ancient Greeks began an attempt to reconcile the paleolithic religious beliefs of the Fertile Crescent with those of northern tribes from the steppes.

The people of the Fertile Crescent were a relatively sedentary and peaceful population that had been more or less in place for perhaps forty-thousand years. The northern tribes were predominantly nomadic warriors and, riding horseback, armed with axes and daggers, had been raiding and conquering lands in the Fertile Crescent for maybe 3500 years. It was no contest.

But even with all that, the biggest difference was in their religious beliefs. Those of the Fertile Crescent venerated a Mother Goddess who was the embodiment of a sacred living Earth, upon which the cycle of death and rebirth was symbolized by the seven phases of the visible moon. Those of the steppes, inspired by the volcanoes and desolation of their homeland, worshipped fierce sun and sky warrior gods and forged weapons of war with metals torn from the earth.

The upshot of all this was that the Greeks had inherited a scorched-earth patchwork of subsumed, truncated, sub-divided, reassigned, recombined and almost-forgotten, religious figures, beliefs and practices. Where once there had been a single goddess, there were now many lesser goddesses - some which had transmogrified into lesser or greater gods - all ruled by a sun god - Zeus. So began the patriarchy.

Artemis emerged radiant from this murky hodge-podge. She was the daughter of Zeus and Leto. Her twin brother was Apollo. Aeschylus called her ‘The Lady of the wild mountains’. In ‘The Myth of the Goddess’ she is described as “...the goddess of the wild, virgin nature, all the inviolate places of the earth where humans dare not enter... she is called the ‘sounding one’, evolving out of the music of the wild, the spirit of place, the language of animals, birds, fish, insects - the immanent presence of the whole of nature as a sacred reality.” And then, pertaining to the contemporary, “To a twentieth-century sensibility, she embodies a wisdom that has been largely lost, both of the outer nature and of that untamed animal region of human nature, and of the necessary relation between them.”

An archer without peer, she carried a golden bow and wore a dagger in the belt of her short tunic. She ran laughing and singing across high mountain meadows in the company of nymphs. She was a virgin huntress who roved the nighttime mountain forests, hunting by starlight with her six hunting dogs - a gift from Pan. But most importantly here, she was goddess of the new moon.

The new moon, following the three days of the dark moon, is the first visible wisp of the waxing moon. Almost imaginary, it is but a delicate curving filament of light, shimmering, miragelike, briefly and faintly visible after sunset as the dark moon sinks lower in the western sky. It is the evanescent first sign - glimmering Hope - by which rejoicing ancients knew the seven visible phases of the moon were returning from the underworld and would soon be reborn in the night sky.

If you enlarge and wander virtually through the photo above, you will note on the right-hand margin a perfectly aligned and spaced procession of three ancient bristlecones. Then, wandering to the left, you will see, dimly, the mutilated, stone-hued, casketlike remains of WPN-114. Immediately behind and slightly off-set from WPN-114, you will see a second perfectly aligned and spaced procession of three ancient bristlecones (seeing the third tree in this particular photo might take a little squinting and - dare I suggest it - imagination). The full procession of the original seven trees - led by the first tree on the right - faces west as if emerging directly from the east - echoing the trajectory of the seven phases of the visible moon.

If this constellation of trees were an art installation carved in silent, sensuous marble - the tree of the new moon yet standing - it would depict, in this cloistered bower, Artemis hunting with her six dogs, or running wild and free in the company of mountain nymphs, and the golden, curving glint of her drawn bow confirming once again the renewal of the seven phases of the visible moon - the timeless cycle of death and rebirth.

There was a time in human history when this secret bower - were it known at all - would have been recognized as one of the most sacred and venerated places on earth. Profaned in name and in deed, hope toppled, it now represents something entirely different.

*** ***

Artemis/New Moon album with additional relevant photos and essays

Wheeler Peak / Great Basin National Park

Ron Wolf posted a photo:

Wheeler Peak / Great Basin National Park

Wheeler Peak. At 13,063 ft, Wheeler is the second-highest peak in Nevada. It is composed primarily of the Lower Cambrian Prospect Mountain Quartzite. The north face, seen here, is the headwall of a huge glacial cirque. The strata here are part of a footwall or lower plate in the Snake Range Décollement, a low-angle normal fault zone. The overlying Paleozoic and Tertiary section had been removed 60 km to the east along a regional detachment fault as a result of crustal extension during the Miocene. Great Basin National Park. Near Baker, White Pine Co., Nevada.

Millennial Grace

Bregalis posted a photo:

Millennial Grace

faint freshening breeze
tranquil dawns translucent touch
grace beyond knowing

Metal Silhouette of Cowboys on a Cattle Drive

Duncan Rawlinson - Duncan.co posted a photo:

Metal Silhouette of Cowboys on a Cattle Drive

Duncan.co/metal-silhouette-of-cowboys-on-a-cattle-drive

Let's Do It

Bregalis posted a photo:

Let's Do It

(with apologies to Cole Porter)

Birds do it, bees do it,
Social distancing trees do it
Let’s do it
Let’s fall in love

Ella does it!

Samsara

Bregalis posted a photo:

Samsara

enigmatic touch
cycle of death and rebirth
orb of ice and stone

Remnant*

Bregalis posted a photo:

Remnant*

vaporous dreams fade
only frail whispers remain

*in Explore

NevadaWilderness_JimDavis2021-3

Jim B Davis posted a photo:

NevadaWilderness_JimDavis2021-3

Cottonwood groves, Snake Creek canyon, Great Basin Nat. Park, Snake Range

Wheeler Peak, Great Basin National Park, Nevada

Laurette Victoria posted a photo:

Wheeler Peak, Great Basin National Park, Nevada

from Mather Overlook

Great Basin National Park

c.gut posted a photo:

Great Basin National Park

Great Basin National Park

c.gut posted a photo:

Great Basin National Park

Great Basin National Park

c.gut posted a photo:

Great Basin National Park

Logs in a Small Stream

Duncan Rawlinson - Duncan.co posted a photo:

Logs in a Small Stream

Duncan.co/logs-in-a-small-stream