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Precision Burning


All of last week we had fires burning around us.  I was quick to check that they were being attended to by real people because we hadn't had rain in quite a while so it was very dry out there.  Each and every fire had all the attention is required to keep it in it's place. What really amazed me is how well that worked.

I have always loved to burn.  I love the smell of it.  I love the look of smoke in the air.  I love to see the flames and watch them eat the brush and limbs and trimmings I've added to the fire.  What is terrifying is burning that gets out of control.  That's what happened on my very first burn pile on this property.  I didn't realize how different this high sand content soil was from the high mud content dirt we had in Simonton and I managed to set the pasture on fire.  The fire was heading towards my neighbor's house and 30 acres of freshly bailed hay when the fire department got here and put it out. Since then I have been very careful and much more worried about fires here.

One family owns the 250 or so acres on three sides of us.  I don't really know what they are doing over there but based on comments at the feed store, they are raising quail and training hunting dogs in addition or maybe related to working very hard to bring back the native grasses.  Weeks will go by where I notice little or no activity and then there's lots of hustle and bustle.  This past week has very much been the hustle/bustle phase.

Each day last week there was a fire burning on a different part of their property.  It was always very controlled with someone in a mule towing a huge water tank.  They did a beautiful job.  So beautiful, in fact, that I was amazed.

Our neighbors have carved out many paths on their property that are maintained as such.  They are mowed and kept clear.  In between these paths are rectangular fields where I'm guessing they are planting the native grasses.  At least the growth doesn't look like a normal disorganized pasture.  And all this burning has burned out the rectangular fields but left the pathways green.

Maybe it's just that there is nothing to burn on the pathways.  I don't know.  They sure did a fabulous job!