In the dim light, under the thick, hardwood canopy of the forest in Fox River Park, Waukesha, death was everywhere.

Autumn leaves carpeted the ground in shades of brown and yellow, with occasional splashes of blood red. Snags stood among the living trees, their decorticated (a fancy term for bark-less) trunks smooth and dry. And long stripes of rusty brown crumbles marked where fallen logs were melting into the ground.

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