Once upon a time, on the very first Monday of the new time change, Chesapeake Bay Woman struggled to get up at 5:30, drove bleary-eyed the hour to work, survived a rather hectic day, drove the hour home, and did what everyone else in America would do at the conclusion of such a long, arduous day.
|No pine trees were killed in this incident, although the flames licked their lower limbs.|
She watched her father drive over on his Cub Cadet and intentionally set fire to a brush pile and then to the entire shoreline in her back yard.
Because that's what we do around here
for entertainment .
The fire spread quickly through the dry, crispy marsh grass and brush along the shore.
|Fire Marshal Twinkie the cat was entirely unimpressed. Here he glances away from the fire as he considers taking up residence where the humans act more civilized, such as the Saluda jail.|
|Here is my 71-year-old father, the King of Shoreline Pyrotechnics.There's lots of mud down there and no shortage of tripping hazards. Oh, and fast-moving fire. Let's not forget that.|
My father is easily winded these days due to lung issues that have official names.
Also, everyone in my family has a well-documented history of falling for no good reason.
Needless to say, between the fire itself and my (potentially) winded father so close to it all, the tension (much like the temperature) was rising--in direct correlation to my already frazzled blood pressure.
Several times he ventured out of my line of sight and I thought for sure he'd fallen; in that fast-moving fire there was no room for error.
(Have I mentioned our well-documented family history of falling even when we're not walking in creek mud, marsh grass, brambles, and uneven terrain? With a fire lapping at our heels?)
|Dearest Hallieford Neighbors, I'm sorry. First you get a daily dousing of smoke from his wood-burning furnace. Now this.|
|I can't wait to investigate this area. But at the time this was taken the ground was chock full of embers. And my eyebrows were already singed as it was. No need to pile on.|
When the fire started to wane around the pine trees, I could finally relax.
But wait. Not yet.
Then my father returned to set fire to the section of shoreline closest to the dock, which also appeared to be perfectly combustible.
|He's down in the mud again. See how high that fire is reaching?|
|Hello?It's over his head. And he's ankle deep in creek mud!|
All in all, it was a successful controlled burn
We do this every so often around here, and lest you think we're unusual, I can assure you we're not the only ones.
Fire does encourage growth of good things. The marsh grass and cattails come back in full force. Wild asparagus too, much to my mother's glee.
Even if the above is not true, we tell ourselves this each and every year to enjoy the privilege of a good
|Fire Marshal Twinkie, on his way to find another home. As he left he was overheard mumbling, "The humans here are animals. Absolute savages."|
If any of you out there can contribute to the reasons why one should burn a shoreline, please leave a comment.
Click here for last year's rendition of the same activity.
Last but not least, I'm so very grateful to have a father next door who takes care of the things I
p.s. Pardon the shift from third to first person about halfway through this post. It's a coping mechanism brought on by stress due to a father, a house, and a dock standing way too close to fast-moving flames.