October 20 – Today turned out to be burning pile day. Chris wondered about burning the big one back near our two hammocks, so we did. She mowed around the pile to make access easier, and I lit a few matches to the old newspapers I had stuck in, and we had a nice fire. This heap had the old dog’s blankets, sleeping box, and rugs, reminding me of our beloved pet Dawg again. We had also dumped the datura plants there when I pulled them up and you should see all of the seeds lying there now, untouched by the fire. Next year we’ll probably have a whole forest of datura plants growing up where the fire was; I guess that’s a good thing!
While the fire was burning, Chris went off to cut back more tall weeds growing along our trails and getting in the way when we walked. I stayed on to rake the dead wood into the burning center, and now that pile is very small and glowing in the dark. Then we went over to those branches and trunk of the pine tree that the wind blew over some time ago, and set it alight after Chris mowed around it. The needles burned very well but the branches were still sort of greenish and will have to be set alight again sometime.
Did I happen to mention the mushrooms we found on the pond wall yesterday? There were scads of them, growing in clumps all over the place, and I hoped they were of an edible variety, for they looked good. I took some up to the house and checked on them in our mushroom books but could not find anything exactly like they were. So I cleaned up a bunch of them and put them in the fridge and Chris cooked just one in the microwave. I had a piece of it for breakfast this morning and am still in good health (so far). Tomorrow morning I shall eat a larger chunk and if that doesn’t make me sick, I shall venture to eat a good helping. I brought in the rest of the good-looking ones today, and have a big bowl of them in the fridge. Chris discovered several mushrooms under the elm tree in the front yard today and they were inky caps. They are only edible at an early stage, said the book, and these seemed to be at a late stage, so I tossed them out. They were not even showing yesterday but were old today! A short-lived mushroom, apparently.
Grandson Kevin was here for the weekend, coming down from Union College with a friend to see the fireworks on Saturday night. They went back to college yesterday afternoon, and stopped by to say good-bye. We were back by the mushrooms when they arrived, but saw us and drove back across the creek and visited for a while. They decided not to give those mushrooms a trial, so I shall have to.
I collected another batch of chestnuts from our trees today, from the second late batch of burrs that I didn’t think would produce anything. That’s the first time they’ve done that. Good for them and may they make this a habit. This second batch of burrs is occurring in clumps of several, some with nuts in and some without. The first batch was mostly single burrs.
Time to call it quits, I think, so it’s good-night and may you all sleep soundly and at greater length than of late. – DALE