Everyone knows that winter ended early and spring got a good jump on things back in March. Before June got started, we had a ripe tomato or two in the garden, and it was summer by the middle of May. There seemed to be no end to the strange consequences of the early spring and summer season. Even fish noticed it, as did migrating birds. But one of the strangest things I saw happen was the early development of some hickory nuts, and by early in July you could sit out in the woods and hear squirrels gnawing away on hickories. By July 4, I had hickory nut cuttings in this area I jokingly refer to as a lawn. Usually, the squirrels go to work on the hickories in mid to late August, and as fall comes on you can slip through a hardwood forest and actually hunt them by watch for the cuttings beneath the trees, and listening for the rascals gnawing away on a nut high in the branches.