Burn, Baby, Burn

November 5 – A much-appreciated change in the weather lately from cold and light to moderate rain, to a warm and mostly sunny afternoon. Yes, I am glad, as I have written before, that now and again we are happy that for some reason we have to spend the hours inside the house, catching up on jobs that must be taken care of sometime. Sure would be a sad day if we never had time to stay inside taking care of the cleaning and baking and e-mail writing. Of course, these blogs take time, too, so sometimes we just have to forget about outside jobs for a day. Since there’s just the two of us, and we usually don’t make a mess of the house, we can afford to be outside most of the time.

Dale getting the lighting materials in hand

Dale getting the lighting materials in hand

Soon after breakfast of cereal, toast, fruit of different kinds, and yogurt, we were ready to get out to take care of burning that pile. Pretty windy, but the grass around the pile was wet enough that we weren’t afraid that the burning would get ahead of us. In fact, Dale had to re-light the pile a number of times before the grass and sticks atop the crumpled newspaper finally began to burn.

From then on, for the next three hours, we really worked! Strange, as we raked up the outer circle of stuff, we found that there were several kinds of things that were to be burned. No, our memory isn’t that bad, but way back last year we burned the bamboo that I cut out of the main section, and haven’t had a fire there until today. Must be well over a year! Lots of booms and bangs today when the bamboo fell into the fire, almost like the Fourth of July!

David cutting yucca

David cutting yucca

We found grape vines and yucca that David had cut out for us a couple months ago, sunflower stalks we had cut off last week, the trunk and branches of an old peach tree that had died earlier, big limbs from a maple tree that had been cut off so they wouldn’t fall on the house roof, tomato vines from the time we had pulled them out of the garden, and more that I can’t remember. Some of the limbs were so heavy that I couldn’t move them at all but had to wait till Dale dragged them into the part of the pile that was burning at the time. I got to practice my throwing arm a number of times as I picked up lesser branches and threw them like an arrow into the fire.

Dried sunflower stalks for the burning pile

Dried sunflower stalks for the burning pile

By the time we had finished, I was pretty tired of being covered with gray smoke, when the winds changed, and I couldn’t get out of the smoke in time. Lots of exercise along that line as I moved here and there pretty quickly. As Dale said, “That wind sure does change direction. First from the south, then the east, and north, but none from the west.”

Well, I had already experienced the quick changes in that wind! After three hours of trying to keep out of the smoke, I was glad we had raked the rest of the stuff into one big pile, so we could leave it alone for a time.

After I had picked a couple baskets of peppers, and Dale had picked the lima beans, we decided to walk around the pasture trails. As she often does now, Cat followed us, walking along on her short legs, and then suddenly zooming ahead, with those legs moving so fast I wondered how she did it. I didn’t take my camera along because we wanted to be back home in time to enjoy the Jeopardy program. While watching that, I shucked the beans, and froze them.

Dale went out to rake the burning pile together as I prepared supper. Probably it will burn all night, and in the morning, we will not find much left to work with. Next project will be another big burning pile in the same pasture, but not quite as large! – CHRIS

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