It escalated into a melancholy murder.
On the last day of the Shaker Tree a murder of crows flew out of the fog to play in the branches. The next day it blew over. It was the last survivor of the orchards belonging to the Shaker community that lived here. Just over the hill a gigantic industrial research complex occupies the land of the lost Shaker town.
I spent several days hanging around and photographing these crows. When I finally got this photograph on a drizzly foggy afternoon, the crows were circling the tree and dancing about in the wind with an odd frenzy. I returned early the next morning in hopes of catching the scene in a beautiful sunrise. The tree was lying on the ground. A single crow perched on the stone. There was a very old man standing on the grass next to the road looking up the hill. He told me the story of the tree and then the crow began calling in the most lonely manner a crow can (a very lonely sound indeed). I walked back to the car filled with a sense that I once again had witnessed something only a fool would try to explain.