It's deep spring and the Shagbark Hickory trees are the last kids on the block to get their leaves. Pale yellow buds sit at the ends of bare branches for weeks and then, in one afternoon, usually following a good rain, a whole sixty foot majesty is dressed resplendently in green.
During the freak 14" snowfall that landed on us last Oct 30th, a large branch of the hickory tree that grows just outside my studio cracked and swung downward. It hung across the path to the door and also partially blocked the road. I was pulling and swinging it around to try and twist it loose when I heard the branch speaking to me. It wanted to know if it was dead. I replied honestly that I didn't know. Was I planning on breaking it off of the tree? I hadn't decided. Our talk went on like that for a little while and the upshot was that I agreed to leave the branch in place until we saw if it was alive enough to produce leaves.