Finishing up the Burning

November 7 – So, no more stories about burning the piles of branches, stalks, excess boxes, or anything else that we have been cleaning up around the yard and pastures, then burning them in various locations around the fields. Let me see, now; how many were there? The two largest ones, then four smaller ones—smaller, being about a third the size of the first two! No wonder it took longer and harder work to keep the first ones under control and rake and push the stuff together so it would burn more easily and quickly.

Burning pile before the big burn

Burning pile before the big burn

This week we took care of the four smaller ones. Since I had mowed around the edges, we weren’t concerned about the fire spreading. We also felt more assured because our neighbor, Bob, had mowed all of our pastures awhile back. You all should have neighbors like Bob and Janice, his wife. They are pretty special to us anyway, because our wonderful son-in-law is their son! Bob always sees that he, or someone on the farm, mows our pastures several times each year in exchange for the hay bales for their cattle. Janice gives both of us hair cuts from time to time, and sends us some delicious vegetarian roasts from time to time.

Years ago, after we first moved out here, Bob was the one who told his wife, “Chris and Dale must be the “wavingest” people in the whole world. Every time I go past the house, they’re somewhere around and wave, whether they’re inside or out!” Ever since Janice told me about that story, I make it a point to go quickly to our big front window or out on the porch when I hear the tractor coming down the road! Might as well be out waving to him, if he “appreciates” it!

Only ashes remain

Only ashes remain

Later that afternoon, I went around to all of the burned piles to check to see if they were still burning. Very easy to see that hardly any of the pile remained, just a small bit of ashes that I raked together to smolder through the night.

While moving from one  fire to another, I decided that instead of walking all the way down to the creek crossing and then back up the path to the burning pile right across the creek from the first one, I would go down the bank, cross the creek, and then move up to the pile. Dodging the stick-tights, fallen branches, and horrible rose bushes, I made my way down the bank, and found a good place where I could pull myself up out of the creek by grabbing some lower branches. I soon was at my destination without having to retrace my steps. Now if my arms and legs weren’t so short, I could have saved some energy, but it’s always fun to prove to myself that “I CAN do it!” Well, most of the time, anyway.

Fall reflected in the pond

Fall reflected in the pond

Took some pics around the pond, too, because a couple of the piles are in that area. Many of my favorite pictures were taken there, where the beautiful trees, so colorful these days, are reflected in the water. As I walked all around the pond, I could hear something make a bit of a splash, then see the ripples spreading all over the area. Didn’t see any muskrats, but judging from the additional deep tunnels along the bank, leading into the water, they must still be around. – CHRIS

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