That's me sitting under the tree. Here is the same tree today. It hasn't changed much in 35 years, and probably much longer. The mystery is, how old is it, what kind of tree is it, and who hacked on it for firewood?Prehistoric foragers?
The mystery deepens. I first saw the tree around 1977-78. Then, even though I knew it was on my property, I could never relocate it again. Quite by accident, I rediscovered it 25 years later, more or less. And it's actually within sight of my house!
In the above photo the camera is looking NW. My [earth-sheltered] house is near the center, with basically just the roof showing. In the center left of the above photo you can barely make out the road snaking between the mountain and the arroyo headed toward the oasis, which appears as a dark fuzzy line on the left center of the photo.
Afterthought: Studying the photos a bit I see on the first one some unweathered wood, so I'm thinking some of the Mexicans that helped build my house probably scavenged some on the tree, but there was plenty of mesquite around, their favored wood, so doubtful they took much from it, because it's obviously a juniper of some kind. But most of the hacking activity was very weathered 35 years ago, so someone with crude tools worked on it before then. And in case you're wondering, I employed some undocumented immigrants; I didn't check IDs, but in those days it wasn't illegal to hire undocumented immigrants. I even helped a couple of them get their legal status here. Times change.