Grass is still green-ish, but the tops are changing, and the pile of wood is still unburned. I'm scared to death I'll have another debacle like the November I caught my neighbor's hay field on fire while burning a little dab of trash before company came for turkey. There was no wind when I began, then a frisky breeze blew up and I was trapped behind a split trunk tree, which saved me from being burned as the fire leaped and spread around me. The weeds, some taller than my head, in the ditch had caught. The volunteer firemen got pulled away from their afternoon ball games or whatever... :-(
So, yesterday, not a blade of grass fluttered. Instead of using a jacket, I donned a full length, comfortable, bright red robe and took a plastic grocery sack of paper trash and a box of matches down the hill, adding an envelop and crinkled newspaper to the mix, putting it in a site where other unburned paper was well-soaked and recalcitrant, layered over with the branches from last winter's ice storms that are just getting dry enough to catch.
Three matches, and the envelop went up. The grocery sack burned nicely, then the newsprint. A whisk of west wind blew it a few inches eastward, and a branch with many string thick twigs caught. The wind gusted enough to make my gown billow, causing a totally untouched section to flare up. Another gust hit, this time from the northwest, pushing the fire into more virgin territory. Flames leaped feet higher than the tallest branches on the heap. The fickle wind playfully cavorted, west, northwest, north, then northeast, sending shoots and sparks toward the hayfield, lying just across the fence line, still green.
One side of the cardboard that had covered the freezer caught. It was so well-soaked it took over fifteen minutes to burn the entire thing, but it got consumed. I walked back to the top of the hill, breeze non-existent, grabbed glasses and book, got in the car and drove back down, watching the smoke until not a puff of smoke was discernible.
The mail comes slightly after 10. It was 1:30 when I came inside for good. It was a lovely day, forecast to be our last for a goodly while... probably spring, baring a chinook.
The pile, while not gone, is greatly diminished. Without the tiny branches holding the larger pieces so far apart, burning the rest ought to be easier... *she says hopefully*