No wonder and symbolic
Silver State takes a special place in our hearts, but we don't focus on
the Sin City's fun industry by mentioning that :).
Nevada has an
official state tree:
a.k.a. Intermountain or Great Basin Pine, which is considered one of the
oldest living individual (non-clonal) organisms on earth. The state is a
vast home to amazing Bristlecone Pines (Pinus longaeva)
which also grow in CA and UT and nowhere else in the world. Rocky Mountain
Bristlecone Pine (Pinus aristata),
the very close species with trivial differences grow in CO, NM, AZ and
nowhere else. The two species never grow intermixed.
50% of the country's Mustangs
(Feral Horses) run free in high desert of
Nevada and they are featured in Nevada's state quarter. That's incredible! There's a long story about those graceful
creatures as they had an important role of expansion to the West. Sadly,
they are in great danger today. The army of Wild Horse lovers is huge and
that keeps a hope for the best alive.
Nevada State Flag
Nevada State Seal
Baltic Amber (Succinite)
is found in Europe along the Baltic sea coast. It is another nature's
miracle causing our tongue fails us. Wood resin is the material
time turns to amber under favorable conditions.
The above image of
butterscotch color fresh sticky resin is a detail of upper part of the
Pine (Pinus longaeva)
captured in Eastern Nevada.
(Pictures by R.V.
However, there is
no any single fact of amber originated from Bristlecone Pine resin.
And it is more science fiction than serious hypothesis if somebody gives that
idea. Here It is more our sentimental contemplation than any sort of
proposition based on science. On the other hand, who can deny it does
exist in tiny quantities? We appeal to a fact fossils of a Foxtail-like species found
in ID, NV, NM and CO stated in "The
Bristlecone Book" (Pg. 16) by Ronald M. Lanner:
"So it appears that species of the Foxtail group have been
living in these western mountains for more than 40 million years."
Time is enough for tree resin becomes an amber. Tree resin totally
decays if not buried in the ground. The latter necessary factor is
essential for the process of amberization (fossilization) as sand and
clay almost completely prevent it from penetration of oxygen and thus
stop the process of oxidation. We also know that 10,000 years ago
bristlecone pines still covered valleys of the Great Basin. Moreover,
"Gedanite is found with Baltic amber and thought to be resin
from an extinct white pine species."