The weather blender was stuck on "pulse" yesterday. Rain - sun - rain- sun - clouds - sun, changing within a matter of minutes. Tree Guy took advantage of the dampness to light off the burn pile in the south pasture, the one to which he's been making regular contributions. That pile of branches had grown to epic proportions and I'm glad to see it gone. (Only four more piles to go.) I took a couple of grocery bags full of receipts and private papers from The Hole to add to the conflagration, certainly easier than shredding. The burn pile had been mostly the larger end branches from the front yard oak, but the ground around the stack was littered with twiggy stuff. TG assured me that the smaller stuff would get chopped up when the field was disked. That assumed the field might ever get disked again and I don't like to make that kind of assumption, so I started gathering it up by hand to throw into the fire. To do otherwise seemed like sweeping dirt under the carpet for someone else to find. The sun was shining at that time and TG and I talked as I wandered back and forth, gathering up little branches and leaves. Pretty soon he went to get a rake and we did the job properly. In the process, we uncovered dozens and dozens of frogs from under the leaves; tiny, thumbnail-sized, brilliant green peepers up to golf ball-sized toads. Given that the earth is so soft right now, they'll be able to find new burrows and homes.
There is a heavy frost this morning, but the burn pile continues to smolder and smoke under its dome of ashes. That pile of brush was at least fifteen feet around by four feet high, so it may be days before it's finally cold. Tree Guy said he'd be back today to burn the two big piles down in the goat pen. That will be good. I've kept the goats out of that section for a week so as to let the grass grow up. By the time those brush piles are done, I'll be ready to let them back in.
In anticipation of more fire and gigged by a guilty conscience, last night I went through the accumulated receipts from 2011 in preparation for tax time and sorted out the stuff that can be burned from what needs to be saved. Tax Guy will be so pleased.