May 21, 2020

The never-ending brush pile

Having a lot of trees means we always have a lot of sticks and limbs to burn. If we want the place to look decent, that is. We could let everything stay where it lands, but then we'd be knee-deep in deadwood. The solution is we burn, which is what we did this Monday past.

A strong wind is Mother Nature's pruner. Dead limbs and sticks come down. I pick them up. Sometimes what comes down is the entire top out of a tree. Wood with a large diameter gets cut to length for the woodstove. Everything else gets tossed on a pile that gets burned on a regular basis. 

It's a family affair. If we're working outside, the dog is generally right there with us. Our current cat, Loki, will meander around to keep an eye on us, but he's not a helper. He's a watcher. With this cat, that's almost as scary as it sounds. 

Burning is hard work. The brush is usually awkward and heavy. Having a battery-powered chainsaw helps. Once the fire is going, there is time to take a break and enjoy the flames and being outside. Once the center burns out, the edges need to be raked in so that material burns. Having the John Deere 1023 with a bucket really helps. The tractor does the work. I spent years using a rake and believe me, the tractor is better! 

Once the fire dies down, it's time to wet down the area and let it finish. My office has a window where I can keep an eye on things. Wetting down the ash forms a crust, and what's underneath smolders away to ash. Then it's time to start the process over again.

There will always be the next big wind that prunes the trees. It's just the way things are. 

The Lady of Holly Tree Manor

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