an old maple in our north woods; suffering the effects of years of ice and wind, its lower branches stripped off and now rotting on the ground around it.
Postscript (March 11, 2017):
Following a short comment exchange with Hedy ( https://sloppybuddhist.com ) at Winter Canopy, Reflected Across One Axis into Negative Tonal Space, A Diptych I am compelled to add the following:
We walked down past that old tree on our walk this evening. Even after the indignities the old tree has endured, it is poised to sprout leaves this spring and make its contribution to the ecosystem by converting carbon dioxide and water to sugars and oxygen.