A vintage black-and-white photograph hangs in our dining room, the image of the house where my father was born in 1908 in the town of Plover. The site is barren compared to its current condition, then a treeless plain except for a background of stumps.
Despite the farm had already been active for 50 years, the stumps of the Pinery were still evident. The thing about burning out stumps is that once charred they become immortal. Moss, lichen, fungi won’t earnestly grow on a fired stump, even ants find them inhospitable. Once charred these stumps continued to reside like craterless meteorites, haunting the landscape, taunting the field. Eventually their roots did yield their grip and they were towed or rolled to the hedgerow, there to hiss and catcall another generation.