Last night, lying in bed with the windows open, I heard an animal shuffling in the dead leaves—probably the woodchuck that’s lately been hanging around the lower deck. Then a deer snorted loudly nearby, followed by coyote howls echoing along the river. This morning as I stood looking through the window above the kitchen sink, a deer stood silent, ears pricked, in the bare woods behind the house. Spring came late this year, so the brambles are just beginning to leaf out and the may apples to pop up along with a few fern heads. In a few weeks I’ll be walking there, waist-deep in ferns, searching for flowers and fawns.