Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Today, It Rained Ash...

Today was my one day off this week, so I decided to get some much needed home-time in. As I evaluated my house, yard, and the list of projects I wanted to accomplish this summer - early this morning - I began to be overwhelmed by how much needed to be done. So my game plan was this: I'd spend the first part of my day tending to some much needed, and much dreaed yard chores, and spend the latter part starting a project I've been wanting to do!

So, out I went, with pruners in hand, to edge my lawn. It has become so thick and over grown that the sprinklers are having a hard time coming up each morning and my lawn is spreading very nicely over our sidewalk :); and without an edger, my hands and a knife were the best I could find.

As I cut and pulled grass from my concrete pathways, I began to notice a bunch of ash was falling around me. Not only this, but a bunch of cars were making u-turns in my couldesac and I saw several firetrucks pass. Curious, I looked up. To my very surprise, I saw a huge plume of black smoke billowing into the sky directly behind my house; field burn day. You see, I live next to carrot, alfalfa, dill, and wheat fields, and around this time each year, they burn the fields. I think I've been gone every year when they burn the field directly across the street from me so I've never really taken much notice of a fire that close to my home...until today.

Slightly unnerved, I wandered out onto the main road to make sure everything was under control. I must say, what I saw next was truly amazing.

They were indeed just burning the field but I've never really thought about what that entails. Field burning is a science; it takes knowledge and skill to light fires, when the conditions are perfect, so they will create their own wind vortex and burn themselves out. It is so fascinating to watch the flames burn so quickly, create a wind tunnel going straight up, and put itself out all in a very short period of time...it seemed like within ten minutes the only lingering signs of a fire were the faint smell of smoke and a few ashes scattered across items outside. It was over.

It came quickly, disappeared even quicker still, and the wind came up this afternoon and blew away any remaining nuisances of this yearly tradition.

I have a much greater appreciation for those who are skilled in this art and will be more forgiving of a little more dust this time of year!

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