I think it's cool that Andy and I have made it a tradition to hike to our wedding tree on or around our anniversary. It's not like we don't visit any other time of year, e.g., last November when it was dry, dry, dry or in February before the leaves come out. It's been particularly interesting to look at my photos of this tree on an annual basis, showing variations in the timing of spring leaf-out and subtler, annual changes as the tree ages, not to mention the weather (it snowed on us in 2011!). This year, the leaves were fairly progressed; some had already toughened up and were very shiny like typical summer leaves. The last time it was anywhere near this leafy on our anniversary was back in 2010 when the catkins were still hanging on. I don't know what's going on with the swath of no leaves in the last photo. There's a patch of lace lichen there that hasn't spread much over the years, and supposedly it doesn't hurt the tree. Also, notice how much greener the grass is in the shade of the tree versus out on the sunny hilltop? What's that phenomena called? It's as if mature oaks create their own personal water cache through their own shade. Since we share this tree with other visitors to Garland, we also take note when other people leave their mark, in this case, a heart painted with... chocolate and vanilla pudding? Cheers!