We had five inches of snow Sunday, but at 2:20 last night, I glanced out the bathroom window, generously lit by a fabulous moon. I looked again. No white splotches (some of the snow was gone, but where the drifts had been, a few inches were still piled around, easily seen from the window. I didn't want to turn on the lights [which somehow activates my brain with a vengeance], so I grabbed the tiny indoor/outdoor thermometer, held it out in front of me as I stood in the doorway facing into the dark bedroom, then switched on the light. 73° inside, 41° outside. The absence of snow was REAL.
On the way to drop off my tax material, I passed piles still on northern and western banks, when in recessed holes. We've had a string of 60+° days - just lovely.
I went down the hill with three sacks (chest high on me- huge former animal food 50# sacks from a neighbor) of trash to burn resting on the trunk of Audra, the Audi. The snow was only one day gone = ground cover still wet, the wind totally absent = perfect "clean it all up" day. I park near a pile of dead branches I've been working on burning for two or three years. They're finally dry enough to catch. I put a plastic store bag full of wadded up catalog pages in the center of a pile of partially burned items, some wood, some paper, catch it on fire, and smile as the smoke trail lifts up straight into a clear sky.
I reach behind me for a second bag. The smoke follows my hand, burning briskly toward my car in the driveway, 2' from the fire. I toss the bag in my hand on, slide in and back out onto the road, parking past the first pole marker with the white reflector on it, well away from any damage to my "baby". I walk back and feed all the stuff that made it down the hill with me into the fire, slowly. It switches to a North West flow, blowing it into my face (yes, I'm allergic to smoke, of course - the joke among my smoking friends is that no matter where I move, the smoke follows immediately, maliciously.) I step down into the ditch. It switches to straight west, again pulling into my face. I retreat to the car, scooting past the sedate puffs up the drive to the trash sack that had slipped its surly bounds and flew. Onto the heap it went. Some of the good sized tree limbs caught.
I took the black bucket that formerly watered horses during road trips and carried water to the drive, handy if needed.
Two spots occasionally sent plumes upward. I returned to the house to the green "Corydon Library" tote, and selected a volume. Sitting on the roadside, I read to page 51, then dug an old tin can, blackened by smoke, from the "cool" pile, and doused each individual limb giving off smoke. The 4" thick one took two cups of Campbell soup can water before it gave up smoking for a cleaner, more healthy existence. May he rot in peace.