Happy Easter - March 31, 2013
The Spotted Salamander - Ambystoma maculatum

Burning the Grasses 2013

Before the BurnEvery year I burn the grasses next to the fish pond. It takes much less time than loppers, shears, pruners or even a blade trimmer. They took quite a beating this year with snow bearing down on them most of the winter.You can see how shattered and bent they are. These are Miscanthus. There is one Miscanthus sinensis 'Gracillimus' and three Miscanthus pupurascens. There are also a few Pennisetum sataceum at the base on the right of the taller grasses.
The EM lights it up
Burning not only takes them down quickly but it also sweetens the soil. Fire is nature's cleansing tool and I know she wouldn't mind our borrowing it. The burn this year was almost two weeks later than last year. I usually burn them around St. Patrick's Day. This year snow was still heavy on the ground and grasses. Friends are always invited to share in the fun. Grasses on FireThis year we had a crowd of ten watching the show. Grasses burn rapidly and they burn very hot. Usually everyone crowds around  as the EM (Equipment Manager) puts the torch to them. Fire tutuerIn seconds, the fire roars and everyone backs up at least ten feet from the blaze. Fire dances and drips as each clump catches and spreads the flames to its neighbor. Sparks fly twoThe black scar where the grasses once stood is impossible to see in the evening. After the fireThe next morning reveals the stain but soon, small green shoots will rise to the sky as another season progresses. Here in this town, no burning permit is necessary if there is snow on the ground and we do have snow piles along the drive.  This annual event signals new growth and a new season. It has become a fun ritual. Any excuse for a party, right?