By Phran Novelli

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Finding broken branches from the storms is sad, but it’s not all bad news. Branches from tall trees give you a chance to look at things up close that you normally need binoculars to see. Like the tulip poplar branches I found the other day with the delicate remains of seedpods still attached – they look like adorable little flowers, but when they’re 100 feet high, few people get to appreciate them.

If you find branches with buds on them, you can put them in water to see if you can force them open. Give the branch a clean cut and smash the cut end a bit to help the branch absorb water. Experts say to keep it out of direct sun for a few weeks but I just plop the vase on the dining room table where I can watch. The branches are beautiful on their own, and as the weeks go by you may get to see cherry blossoms or dogwood flowers unfurl, or maybe just leaves, depending on the tree.

Whatever kind of tree it may be, watching a broken branch come back to life in a vase is a tribute to the tree from which it fell this winter, as well as a nice touch of spring to keep indoors.