What a difference a day makes. I live in the northwest corner of Connecticut. It is a beautiful place and I enjoy living and photographing the natural beauty of the area. Last year I took several panoramic photographs of the largest tree in Connecticut, the Pinchot Sycamore tree. The panorama was part of a virtual tour I did of the town of Simsbury. The Pinchot Sycamore tree is named after a former Simsbury Connecticut resident, Gifford Pinchot. Mr. Pinchot was the first chief of the U.S. Forest service, advisor to Theodore Roosevelt and the 28th Governor of Pennsylvania. The Pinchot Sycamore tree measures over 26 feet in diameter and is believed to be possibly as old as 300 years.
On Saturday October 29, 2011, the northwest corner of Connecticut was hit by an early winter storm. The storm dumped 18 inches of heavy wet snow on the area. We are used to receiving snow but unfortunately because of the early date of this storm not all of the trees had lost their leafs. The result was that the heavy wet snow collected on the leafs and placed more weight on the upper branches and tops of trees than they could bare. The night of the storm trees could be heard snapping, cracking and falling in every direction. Morning would reveal the wide spread damage. The area was totally devastated. Trees were down and broken everywhere you looked. Roads were blocked, electrical lines down and 800,000 people were out of power. Even though the snow was gone in a couple of days, It took weeks for the roads to be cleared and power to be restored to everyone in the area. Unfortunately, the Pinchot Sycamore was not spared the storms destruction. Several days after the storm I took a second panoramic photograph of the ancient tree. Simsbury town officials say they will try their best to save the tree but the damage is extensive. Click here to view the before and after panoramic photographs. What a difference a day makes.