Burning Down the Farm
As we typically do every late winter, we helped burn some of the ground on the farm to help establish more healthy plants and ecosystems. The fire kills weeds and invading trees and fosters the growth of soil nourishing prairie grasses. On this particular time, my wife asked to take over my job of running the drip torch to light the fires. I took over her job and drove around in a utility vehicle to mop up any fire that threatened to go where we didn't want it too and to haul people and tools to various points around the farm so that they could minimize that amount of time walking. It was definitely the easier of the two jobs but it was nice to have a change or perspective.
Burning is an art and requires one to balance geography, weather conditions and skills such as backfiring. But we've been doing this since I was a teenager and so we do pretty well these days. This day was one day of sun between very windy days full of precipitation. It was probably going to be the only day to do the prescribed burns we had to do this year so it worked out though the fires when we started certainly didn't burn as hot as they did by the time we quit in late afternoon. The most important part was that is was completed safely.
After we completed a patch, all that should be left behind are blackened ashes and anthills. These were tiny compared to another plot that we burn every so many years but they are still big enough to pay attention to when driving around in the utility vehicle.
Occasionally we find other things like this spike buck I ran into. Due to the trampled nature of the grass due to those that ate his flesh, the fire just burned around his final resting spot.
It was a nice day to be outside and my wife was really tuckered out by the time we got home. I have a feeling that next year I will be back on drip torch duty.