My earliest experiences of nature were of playing in the yard – and out back – as a child in a Houston suburb. As I recall it, our backyard had a pecan and some young oaks, along with multiple gardens. There was a red oak – or perhaps a maple? – planted out front, and a sweet gum tree whose seed casings would bring forth caution in even the most carefree of barefoot children. And of course there was the St. Augustine grass. This was all conducive to much play outside. But the best part was behind the fence: The Ditch.