Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick (aka Contorted Filbert) is bare naked right now, dangling his catkins in the fresh breeze. Since he has no leaves, we can easily admire his structure. It helps that RG just pruned out the many suckers that crop up at his feet each year. Demanding children, they’d sap this small tree if we let them.

I planted Harry close to 25 years ago in the driveway border, where he’s easy to admire. Not just eye candy, he fertilizes the fruiting hazelnut tree I put in at the same time across the driveway on the far side of the creek. Hazel must cross pollinate with another Corylus to set fruit, and although they have very different shapes, Harry and Hazel are both Corylus. Someday we may even get to enjoy Hazel’s crop, if we can figure out how to keep the squirrels from getting to her first.

Harry and Hazel’s catkins are just beginning to release their pollen, in unison. Bare naked tree sex, going on right under our eyes. It may not feel like it yet, but spring is on the way!