You can take a winter walk down a well marked woodland trail and still the growth on the trails edge will block out the forest. Some areas are protected and you should stay on the trail to protect a fragile eco-system, but if not get into those woods. From the trail the woods look too thick and full of thorns and bushes and dead limbs and you wonder how you could walk through without sounding like a demolition derby. The woods are full of trails made by large animals like deer to small ones like opossums and naturally they at some point intersect your trail. The animal trails wont look like much at your eye level but keep your eyes low and you’ll find one and you should follow it. It won’t be as smooth and easy going as the maintained people trail but the people trail is cleared of all the nature things that might impede your path or get you dirty. The deer and foxes aren’t into convenience like we are and their paths will allow you to so see their world. You get to see the art that nature makes. The greens in January and deer in flight and bluffs overlooking an icy lake. I find these things interesting and beautiful on their very own. They show me a different world parallel to mine where life is harsh and uncomplicated and lawless and quiet and giving. It’s all in the shapes of things. The erosion of limestone or the decay of a once mighty oak, the shapes all tell a story started long before my time and maybe of a time before any man walked through these hills. They tell stories of fires and storms and floods and the history of people come and gone. Nature tells all these stories all along the daily route of animals in the shape things carved over time.