An Early Morning Burn Pile

I have a love/hate relationship with burn piles these days. We spent 15 years at our house in Simonton, TX and I used to burn all the time. Big burn piles, little burn piles. It didn't matter. I always love the smell and the work was exhilarating. Peggy and I got pretty darned good with our pole saws trimming limbs from the trees and then we got to burn them. Of course, that property was situated on black gumbo soil so there wasn't much thatch under the living grass to catch fire and spread. I never had a bad experience with a burn pile in Simonton.

Then we moved out here to Colorado County. Our property is mostly sand and the grass grows much better but with lots of thatch. We have had to call the volunteer fire department to put out fires we started twice since we moved in 16 years ago. It's embarrassing to need help putting our a fire you started on purpose. Of course the VFD is wonderful and never made me feel stupid for ultimately setting the place on fire. They always come quickly and are prepared to put out whatever I've begun. No big surprise, then that I'm just a little goosey about starting a fire these days.

Ron told me last week that he intended to burn one of the smaller burn piles in the pasture yesterday morning. He had carefully checked the weather reports and picked the day with the least amount of wind. Did I mention that we always have a breeze here? That breeze helps spread the fire so no wind is a very good thing. Sure enough the morning dawned clear and calm. The burn pile has been sitting there since last summer so it was good and dry. Dry enough that it went up like a rocket when Ron lit it but it didn't take long for it to burn most of the tree trimmings.

We have several other small burn piles and Ron intends to get them all burned on similar calm mornings. I'm not sure how we will handle the big burn pile. I think we will need help when we get ready to burn it. Maybe our kids will come out and help so we don't need to call the VFD.