The early snow damages an old friend.

We had a snowstorm in northern NY during the last week of October. Close to a foot of heavy, wet snow fell where we live, causing us to lose power for almost 24 hours.

Clearing snow on the morning after. We were scrambling, because Robert had to go to New York City that morning and power went down the night before while he was in the middle of setting up the logistics for the trip. He had hoped to fly out of Ogdensburg, but had to drive to Albany where he caught a train.

The next day, I woke up alone in the house. No heat, no power. Fortunately the house was still pretty comfortable - thermal mass rocks. The view from the kitchen window:

The view from the dining room window:

You can see that the snow is weighing down the evergreens.

After the snow had melted and the dirt road we live on was open, we discovered that an old friend took some damage.

This may not be the oldest tree on our property, but we believe that it is the biggest tree. This tree has a name - "the grandfather pine". It's a white pine. It's hard to judge size from a picture with no point of reference, so here is our car next to it:

Our friend is looking a little threadbare these days. We'll have to watch and see how it fares in the next few years. We have taken pine from our property for lumber, but we never considered taking this tree. To do so would be beyond our skill and equipment, and it would be a challenge for the small local sawmills to handle logs of this size. Beyond those practical concerns, some trees are too beautiful to be cut down. Besides, don't we want a superior tree like this to continue reproducing and spreading its seed for as long as possible?


  1. That is a great old tree. We had one similar to that on our farm but a tornado took the top twenty years ago. It is sad, yet wonderfully mysterious, when the old wood friends make room for new.


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