The ramshackle jumble of tumble-down trees builds a blockade at the edge of my yard. Brown, mostly brown with highlights of muted green—ivy smothered trees, frozen, dried, projecting brown as well. So brownish on brown, in fading light it’s hard to focus on any one object. Fifteen years ago, my house freshly purchased, no deadfall, no brambles, no saplings cluttered our view, blocking our escape into nature. A clean forest floor—clear of obstacles except poison ivy patches—invited exploration, at least during winter. No one maintains these woods anymore. I don’t know who did before. Fallen trees, a dozen, now mar the landscape, impassable to all save the deer who come to eat our bushes, the wiry stems, before they bud into spring.