Tuesday, April 20, 2010
spring on the prairie
Burn off the old, prepare for the new.
It's near the end of burning season on the prairie. An annual ritual which represents my favorite season on the prairie. I love everything about it -- the crackling of the fire, the smell of the smoke. I am especially fond of it during the evening hours. The glow of the fire is beautiful.
I've been around this ritual since I was a young girl. I remember going with Dad to burn pasture. I always walked with him -- rake in hand, dragging the fire. We didn't have 4-wheelers and gators back then so we did a lot of walking, moving the pick-up and tractor. We carried large buckets of water in the back of the truck and soaked gunny sacks in the water. That was our defense in keeping the fire contained.
Saturday night we drove south of town to the farm where our friends were burning. By the time we arrived they were well into the process so we were merely observers. I thoroughly enjoyed being there. Standing in the quiet brought tears to my eyes as I remembered the many experiences with my Dad. He loved this time of year and he loved what followed, as do I -- the greening of the hills. The bright green of the new prairie grasses against the charred ground is such a stark contrast. It happens so quickly. It seems as if overnight the hills are covered in green.
And soon after the new green, come the baby calves. Seeing the new black angus calves against the bright green back-drop can bring tears to my eyes. I know that sounds crazy to many of you but the love of the land runs deep in my heart. It just can't be explained.