No one could quite identify the huge tree at the far end of my property. It was surrounded by the thickest thicket and wetland scrub so we could only view it, its top, from a distance. For years I’d wanted to mow up to that tree but the land was too swampy to get anywhere near with a mower. Also, the field was riddled with the downed trunks of huge trees, cut when I built my house at the turn of the century.
In the middle of the heatwave and dry spell, the landscapers agreed to try clearing the field. It was one of those days when I hardly dared to go outside for fear of being fried. But the landscapers called to me, they’d reached the tree. (Although the bulldozer had half sunk in the still-wet land.)
It was a shagbark hickory. My favorite for photo-shopping fabricated landscapes. Snaking around behind the tree was a small murky creek. And under the tree’s canopy were two rocks, large enough to sit on. I greeted the shagbark like I was meeting a long-lost loved one.
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Here’s to long-lost loved ones! What a thrill for you to discover a shag-bark hickory on your property!
Well, it’s been amazing but my relationship with the shag-bark may be limited as the drought ends and the land reverts back to a wetland. Not sure how much longer I’ll be able to walk down to sit by the tree. But incredible ferns are now growing up in the field before the tree. So I guess there are more thrills and discoveries to come. Yes, always remembering and honoring our lost loved ones. Cheers, Lucy.