Last winter, Emma and I control burned this open grassy area, just south of the pig pen/garden area. There were alot of deadfall oak branches in the area at the time and these we piled high to burn in the spot above.
Obviously, it's been a good year for grasses and wildflowers, look at the growth above. Everything in the photo above was burned by Emma and I, but only the pile of branches supported a sustained fire.
Our controlled burns are rapidly moving grass fires that sweep over the designated area quickly, leaving the ground beneath relatively cool.
The fire ring makes me wonder just what changes took place in that soil due to the log fire. I've heard people say that fires sterilize the soil, and I can buy that for a short period of time after the fire, but ... "Life will find a way" and all that. I can't see fire sterilizing soil so much that essentially nothing grows in the spot most of a year later.
Seeing the fire ring so barren after a grass blade's dream of a summer, makes me wonder just what does the fire do to the soil?
Does it change the chemistry of the soil so much that even tough as nails scrub plants won't reseed it?
It's a burning question I have.
These asters (?) are blooming now in the big fall flush of wildflowers. They grow happily in soil that is barely more than beach sand in some places and they seem to appreciate the controlled burns we do.
Now here's the result of a good controlled burn. These are the ribs I barbequed for Junior's birthday Sunday.
Yes, they tasted just as good as they look. Moist with a carmelized coating, tender, but not mushy.
My hotrod of a truck supporting a hot load of datil peppers. I have enough peppers for my personal use so I'm saving peppers for seed at this point.
... Okay, it's a dormant 1982 GMC S15 pickup truck ... not a hot rod, but it IS toting a hot load.