There -- that's out of my system. And so...
In short, they don't want to catch fire, and when they do, they quickly go all smokey and then sizzle out. This is what our pile was doing when I joined Bruce this morning on the upper pad. He'd tried to get it going with just a bit of diesel fuel and a match. The small, dry stuff quickly caught fire but the flames died out before the larger branches could join in. Ever helpful, I dug in my coat pocket and found several very old Kleenexes which added to the embers. They flared up and were reduced to ash in about 6 seconds. Not successful, but this gave me an idea...
I ran back to the house and brought back lots of newspaper and two Firestart logs to get things going.
This got things started, but it still wasn't enough: there was just a point when the larger logs emerged from the smoke unscathed after the smaller twigs and sticks had burned away.
Bruce and I now were both covered with a fine dusting of ash, had soot on our coats and hands and both reeked of smoke. But there was fire.
While we waited, a couple of redtail hawks put on a show, wheeling and circling overhead. No pictures of them, I'm sorry to say -- anyway, my little camera would have snapped images of black smudges in a blue sky. Bruce (who is occasionally very wise) said that sometimes it's better to just enjoy something in the moment and not worry about things like pictures. I agree.
|Murphy, looking at the hills of Gopher Ridge holding back the valley fog|
And then we called to the three dogs and slowly our little group wended our way down the hill, along the dam, past the chicken coop and so back to the house.
An enjoyable day -- very much needed and appreciated.