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Kenoza Lake

October 22, 2021

Susan Brown Otto
Posted 10/22/21

October 22 - Greetings to all! It is another glorious fall day in Sullivan County. Still no killer frost, if any frost. My dahlias have been blooming for more than two months now. I am writing this …

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Kenoza Lake

October 22, 2021


October 22 - Greetings to all! It is another glorious fall day in Sullivan County. Still no killer frost, if any frost. My dahlias have been blooming for more than two months now. I am writing this column on Thursday morning, October 21st. It has been several weeks since I last wrote my news column.

To the readers of this column who reside in Sullivan County, everyone knows how wet this year has been. There are some hayfields that farmers never got the chance to mow, as the fields never dried up. Our Pucky Huddle Road neighbor Jon Rossal was fortunate to get some huge, corn chopping equipment onto his Pucky Huddle Road cornfield. What a huge piece of equipment! There are now huge ruts in the cornfield. Fortunately, the corn chopper didn’t get stuck in the very wet cornfield.

So where are the birds? After my hummingbirds finally left me on September 27th, I took down the hummingbird feeder and put out some suet. The suet is still there, no red-bellied woodpeckers feasting on it. There are hardly any birds. Too early for juncos. A few chickadees and some mourning doves (my least favorite bird). Where are the birds?

Folks periodically ask me about Rudy the Raccoon. I am very sorry and sad to report that I have not seen any raccoons in several months. I haven’t seen any along the road either. Is something killing our raccoons? Some sort of disease?

Bowhunters have been out hunting since October 1st and our asking themselves, where have the deer gone? Did they die off last winter with the harsh winter? Are the midges/punkies killing them? Too much hunting in prior years? This year we have very few acorns. Some years are mast years, other years not.  This is NOT a mast year for acorns on Pucky Huddle Road. I have seen very few acorns. I am very happy to report that the Dunstan Chestnut trees that my husband Ray and I planted back in the spring of 2014, are producing chestnuts! We must have close to 200 chestnuts on the ground below one tree alone!

Faithful readers of this column know that a blight wiped out our chestnut trees. Below is an excerpt from the American Chestnut Foundation, about the American Chestnut and the blight:

“More than a century ago, nearly four billion American chestnut trees were growing in the eastern U.S. They were among the largest, tallest, and fastest-growing trees. The wood was rot-resistant, straight-grained, and suitable for furniture, fencing, and building. The nuts fed billions of wildlife, people and their livestock. It was almost a perfect tree, that is, until a blight fungus killed it more than a century ago. The chestnut blight has been called the greatest ecological disaster to strike the world’s forests in all of history.

The American chestnut tree survived all adversaries for 40 million years, then disappeared within 40.

The American chestnut tree (Castanea dentata) once dominated the eastern half of the U.S. Because it could grow rapidly and attain huge sizes, the tree was often the outstanding visual feature in both urban and rural landscapes. The wood was used wherever strength and rot-resistance was needed.

In colonial America, chestnut was a preferred species for log cabins, especially the bottom rot-prone foundation logs. Later posts, poles, flooring, and railroad ties were all made from chestnut lumber.

The edible nut was also a significant contributor to the rural economy. Hogs and cattle were often fattened for market by allowing them to forage in chestnut-dominated forests. Chestnut ripening coincided with the holiday season and turn-of-the-century newspaper articles often showed train cars overflowing with chestnuts rolling into major cities to be sold fresh or roasted. The American chestnut was truly a heritage tree.”

The Dunstan Chestnut tree that Ray and I planted is a hybrid tree, 90% American and 10% Chinese and is blight resistant. Ray and I are ecstatic that our Dunstan chestnut trees have finally produced a bountiful supply of chestnuts.

The Kenoza Lake Fire Department’s annual roast beef dinner was a huge success, and the food was delicious. Congratulations to Karen Menges who won the 50-50. (Karen, did I sell you the winning ticket?) The Jeffersonville Roast Beef dinner was delicious too! One more roast beef dinner to go! The Youngsville Fire Department’s dinner, that will be held on October 30th.Once again, we owe a huge debt of gratitude to our local fire companies. Both the Kenoza Lake and White Lake Fire companies were first and second on the scene for the Burr Road (house) fire and the Old Taylor Road (brush) fire.

The Kenoza Lake United Methodist Women will be selling Krispy Kreme doughnuts on Election Day, at the Kenoza Lake Fire House.  Also, the Jeffersonville United Methodist Women will be selling doughnuts at the Town of Callicoon Town Hall.  The Smallwood and Mongaup Valley Fire Company’s Women’s Auxiliary will be selling Krispy Kreme doughnuts at the Dr. Duggan School on Election Day.

The Kenoza Lake community extends their heartfelt sympathy with the recent passing of three Kenoza Lake residents or former residents, Barbara Frisbee, John Tyler and Casimira Winski. Our condolences to the Frisbee, Tyler and Winski families at this time of sorrow and loss.


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