Well, we were almost there yesterday. The rains last week had managed to make my field too wet to burn over the weekend. By yesterday, the winds and dry air had dried the field almost enough to burn. We thought we'd be able to burn this evening, but rain once again inconveniently struck and doused my hopes of getting it finally done. So now, we wait for more wind and dry air to help dry out the field again.
A friend and her husband recently did a prescribed burn on their small farm here in Missouri. After seeing her pictures, I wish I could have been there! After killing the fescue, spotted knapweed and other invasives, the next step was to burn off all the dead matter, so that natives were free to grow unhindered. The only way for the natives to flourish is to kill the invasives and burn them off, to allow the sun to touch the seeds and let Mother Nature spring forth!
|Fire, fire, fire! Beautiful flames scarify the seeds and rid the earth of detritus, exposing untold amounts of beauty, yet to come. Note the drip-torch in the picture. I so want one of these!|
As Mr. Freeze frequently points out, finding the right time to burn a field here in Missouri is very tricky. I tease him relentlessly when I'm wanting to go "burn something", because I'm a very impatient, back-seat driver. Are we there yet? But his abundance of caution does keep me out of trouble; chomping at the bit, but out of trouble.
The wind, humidity, ground moisture and all other conditions really must be as close to possible to perfect, or you could end up being named on the Police Report page of the local newspaper. The wind is pretty unpredictable here. You can start out in the morning with dead calm and by noon have the wind coming in from the north, changing over to any variety of directions on the compass and you could end up chasing a fire into the next county, or worse. We had started a back-burn in one of our fields last year and when the wind suddenly shifted from the southwest to dead-on from the north, we suddenly had a head-fire and it jumped 10 feet across our fire break. After much running, stomping, spraying with water, we decided to quit and live to fight another day.
|One of our brave fire-setters, diligently watching the destruction. Note the water pack on the back, strategically placed so it won't get in the way if he has to break into a run to stop the fire.|
Someday soon, I'll have some pictures of my own fire to post. For now, these wonderful pictures were shared by my friend who shares my love of fire and nature; two perfect partners in crime conspiring to create beauty in our world.
|The smoldering remains. I hope Gail shares some pictures of what arises out of the ashes!|