We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
By 1940, essentially all American Chestnuts, a dominant climax tree (and a major mast-producing tree - once the major food of Turkey, Deer and lots of other critters) of American forests, were killed by the blight. Their wood has a remarkable durability and their somewhat rusty-colored carcasses can still be seen in our woodlands.
That is a bunch of Christmas Fern behind the fallen log.
There's a possibility we may see American Chestnuts again if the genetic backcrossing succeeds. They've managed to grow several examples and from what I'm given to understand, they may be ready to attempt reforestation in New England with the cross bred trees.
I really hope so - I have a American Chestnut gun cabinet made my my great-grandfather in the very late 19th century and it's beautiful.
A couple years before he died, my Dad had found a chestnut seedling and planted it out in the pasture. It died. I wish I could find the tree it came from. Its undoubtedly on the place somewhere, but I wouldn't begin to know where to look or what they look like at maturity.
Mother lives in a 1920 vintage house with panel trim, doorways, bannister, and gorgeous pocket doors, all in chestnut. It gives the home wonderful character.
Her father in the 1970's planed an old fallen wormy chestnut log and sent the lumber to a Pennsylvania Dutch craftsman, who crafted custom grandfather clocks for each of Granddad's five children. They are likewise gorgeous keepsakes the family cherish, especially because he passed away shortly after the last clock was completed.
Sad to lose the old vast chestnut forests. Now the elms are disappearing, and it looks like we will lose the ash trees as well. But chestnuts were very special.