Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Annual Burn


Every winter, after the first few frosts have turned the tall grasses from green to brown, we burn the "meadow" near the old FFA hog pen.
"We" means my daughter Emma and I.
She inherited a large dose of the the gene known as "pyrolase-b-urnalota" from her Dad.


We were not burning at night, but it looks like it in this flash photo.
It was near sundown, but not as dark as the picture implies.



Above, we have Emma surveying her circle of destruction ... which is really a circle of regeneration since this tiny, annually burned meadow has the greatest plant diversity of any dryland habitat at PFHQ.

It's a simple activity, this Father/Daughter burning, but I look forward to it each winter.
I love the way the grasses and many of the fire adapted native wildflowers hold their seeds on tall stalks, high above the grass-fueled flames.
Whent the fire has moved on, the stalks may still be standing holding their precious cargo aloft ready to drift down into the ash enriched soil.
Sometimes, a seed stalk will slowly burn through at the base, but almost always the stalk falls in slow motion, and only reaches the ground after the hungry flames have moved on ...
... Safe seed delivery complete.
It's a beautifully simple thing, but it still awes me a little every time we burn.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

I remember the last time we were there she was burning something! I also think I might know why you and Thunder may have gotten to be such good friends!
Lightnin

Darla said...

They burn the lawns in S.C., bet it will be beautiful in spring/summer.

Floridacracker said...

Lighting,
Yes, I remember the fireworks incident on the UWF campus. I hope the statute of limitations is up on that one.


Darla,
You know, I had never seen suburban lawn burning until I lived on Hily Avenue in Savannah, Georgia while in the Park Service.
There was a neighborhood there that burned their tiny lawns every year.

Daniel said...

Might be due time to do a growing season burn on it. I'm sure you'd get a great response out of the wildflowers.

The Florida Blogger said...

Good burn. Good for ecosystem. Good times with the kids.

elpbulls said...

Good times!!! :) Love you!

threecollie said...

My grandpa had that gene too! He lived in the city (at the edge) and burned his lawn every spring. He had a ball doing it and never let his little inferno escape its boundaries.

Ericka said...

we don't set out to burn the lawn, but sometimes things happen. (things generally being bonfires that are visible from space.) that's why we live in the country - fewer people to freak out over things burning. or exploding. or both.

Dani said...

Break out the marshmallows!

SophieMae said...

Not a whole lot better than sharing a burning passion with an offshoot.

Methinks I was gifted with an overly developed 'PB' gene myownself. We just had a real good rain up here, so now would be a good time for a little disco inferno. 8-}

kathy a. said...

oh, man. it's a lot drier in california, and nobody wants the hills to go up -- not to mention, we've got smog problems. i was stunned when we lived in SC and people burned stuff all the time.

Aunty Belle said...

@ Sophie Mae

Snicker.

Go Emma!

Miz S said...

How do you control a burn like that? Do you hose down the perimeter? Just curious. Not planning any fires this weekend.