Wednesday, April 8, 2009

prairie fires

I drove home through the Flint Hills where ranchers are in a rush to get their spring burnings done. Everywhere on the horizon there was smoke. In the bottom photo, you can see how close some fire got to an interstate ramp. About a hundred yards west of there, fire had consumed half of a billboard, so it was clear that it wasn't all under perfect control, heh. When I took these photos I wished I could include sound so you might hear the crackle, and only now does it occur to me that if I would ever learn to take videos with this camera you *could* hear the snap, crackle, and pop.

When fresh growth comes up through the burn, it will be the prettiest light, bright green.

Click on the photos, especially the top one, to see the smoke in the near and far distance.


Nancy P said...

Hi, honeys, I'm home!

Last night, there was a brilliant necklace of fire on the horizon. That's one of the most beautiful sights in the world, imo.

maryb said...

Welcome home Nancy.

And best wishes to all who are observing Passover this evening.

Anonymous said...

Welcome home, Nancy! Thanks for the pics and stories! We missed you.

In the Inland NW, fire is our greatest natural disaster. I've flown over Montana and Idaho at 35,000 feet and seen that necklace - it's pretty and scary all at the same time, knowing what's going on at ground level.

And in N Idaho they burn the grass fields in late summer, but it's nothing like these fires - we end up with great clouds of gray smoke that choke people and darken the sky. We shake our fists and the farmers shrug their shoulders - although slowly but surely progress is being made toward finding other ways to purify the fields.

Anyway, wish I could hear that crackle!

G'night, and g'morning to those who follow.

boran2 said...

Welcome home, Nancy!

Hi Mary and Beth!

Those fires must have been quite a sight. It must rather dry there. Here it's been daily rain and even some snow today. Spring is still not fully here.

A good night to all.

maryb said...

Nancy, I didn't want you to miss this Atrios style spread.

Nancy P said...

Oh, Maryb, you have me cracking up. Atrios, our lost love. lol. As for modeling, I think maybe he should keep his day job.

And may I second your Passover wishes to all who observe it.

Beth, oh, your fires are scary!

Hi, b2! I love it when you close up the joint. Makes things feel all right with the world.

Kelly McCullough said...

Welcome home. I hope the trip was lovely.

AndiF said...

Happy homecoming, Nancy. Glad you're back safely.

Another beautiful sight is seeing that the wildflowers survived three night of freezing temps. And it's up to the 60s today. w00t!

Morning all.

Lisa M said...

Welcome home, Nancy!!
And you bring us FIRE.
I am drawn to its flickering beauty and the hiss and crackle reminds me of the sound of flowing water.

I'm not aware that ranchers burn yearly here in Texas. Are the grasses so thick in the prarie that burning is the most efficient way to clear out for new growth?

It is my last workday of the week-Yeehaa.
Drama Kings and Queens have been in high form this week so am ready for a break. This time of years those that are failing become surly.

Got evaluated yesterday and that went well. As my pricipal said, the kids do like to talk about their goals and dreams and people often forget the "trouble makers" have goals and dreams too.

Hope some of that warm air I'm blowing your way is thawing things out.
A Great day to All!!

Jen said...

Do y'all get fireweed (allegedly named such because it's one of the first plants to move in on burnt ground) over there on the prairies? Fields of fireweed are absolutely gorgeous.

Paul Lamb said...

A fire that takes out a highway billboard is well under control, in my humble opinion.

Maria Lima said...

Morning, all and welcome home, Nancy!!


Still working on copy edits and major mimes stuff, so it's off for the day and hopes today can be productive.

Catch you all later!

katiebird said...

(waving) Good Morning! Nancy, I'm glad you're back safe and sound.

Before I stagger off to find coffee, I have to ask you & Mary -- What happened to make Atrios your "lost love"?

FARfetched said...

Some people on Planet Georgia set fire to their lawns. It's supposed to get rid of the thatch. You have to get a burn permit at the moment, though, what with the drought and all. Then again, the huge rains we've had the last couple of weeks has erased the year's deficit and maybe a little of last year's too.

After thinking about it a moment, I have to agree with Paul: a fire that takes out a billboard is jus' fine.

Yay for Nancy being home!

Conda V. Douglas said...

It must be great to be home, Nancy! And the farmers do control burns in southern Idaho too, and yes, sometimes the burns are not so controlled.

Nicola Slade said...

I wouldn't like to swear to it but I didn't think English farmers burned off stubble till after harvest in Aug/Sept. Somewhere near us there are 'secret' fields of opium poppies growing (for medical purposes of course); not sure I want to be driving through those roads if THEY burn off! (Too innocent in the 60s, too married afterwards! Sigh)

Nancy P said...

Hi, Andi, Lisa, Kelly!

Jen, now and then I post a fireweed photo of Jim's. So gorgeous. But I've never seen fireweed around here.

Just talked to my son. He said his dad (the rancher) told him that he's never seen so much smoke/burning at one time as there is right now. Apparently the day before I got home, it was downright smoggy here in KC, 'cause of the smoke to the west.

Paul, lol!

Nancy P said...

Hey, kb. Well, Maryb and I once had a crush on Atrios, cause he was so smart and snarky, and he looked kinda cute. We used to commit outrageous innuendoes over at Booman's place, hee. But we got over our crush. Now we're like all grownup and stuff.

Far, you can set fire to your YARD? That's a new one to me.

Waves at productive Maria!

Hi, Conda. Any snow lingering there?

Nicky, lol. Driving Under the Influence.

bono said...

Welcome home, blog mom. Interesting pix. I'm not familiar with burning fields. We don't do that here. What is the purpose?

lol, Paul, I agree re: taking out billboards.

Hectic times here. Looking forward to some relaxation over the weekend.

Waves to everyone.

Anonymous said...

In North Idaho, they burn the grass fields to get rid of the weeds. But there's a push to find other ways, since the smoke causes breathing issues for lots of people. The farmers aren't too happy with having to find less polluting methods, but progress is being made. Slowly.