The weather was perfect, so Matt Barnes gathered a crew to carefully burn our prairies and woods on Wednesday and Friday this week. The weather has been so wet this year that we couldn’t burn in late August or September as we had hoped to do. (Burning then would zap/set back the big warm season grasses and favor some of the wildflowers.) Tomorrow they’ll burn a big field I planted to flowers and warm season grasses maybe a decade or more ago. The burning fits with what I mentioned in the last blog post about how so much of our landscape was adapted to pretty regular fires (initally by Native Americans).
A giant mass of white smoke today rose high into the air. Although we called to let local emergency people know we were doing controlled burns today, there was a miscommunication and local fire volunteers came out to be sure all was safe. We’re lucky to have to great people looking out for us. Fortunately we’re careful about creating cleared lines so fire will be contained, not burning when the ratio of wind to humidity is bad, and having enough people to work the edges.
It’s exciting to see the big changes. Now there is so much blackened landscape, but in the spring wildflowers and other plants will put on a great show as they’re released from the overburden of dead grasses and leaves. Life renewal and healthy nature is what it’s all about.