Tuesday, April 18th, 2006
When I walk in the Southern woods, like we did last Sunday, I look at downed tree-skeletons and wonder if this or that specimen is a chestnut. Most were taken by disease years ago, and the forests were combed for their wood, because it is so fine. You still see the occasional American Chestnut, but it is almost always less than twenty years old (or so), ’cause after that, the disease downs them, even today.
Indeed, the missing chestnuts and passenger pigeons make today’s Southern forests quite different than those of the precolumbian past.