Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Burning the leaves.

Up this morning at the stroke of 8.  Heck that's early for us retired guys!  After a couple of pieces of toast, and some diet cola, ( I never did like coffee too much) I decided to go outside and enjoy the clean up of the front flower bed.  It was beginning to be nice and warm so working outside seemed just the ticket.

I have a grass clump that has expanded itself year after year, until it has taken over the entire end of the flower bed.  I always say I am going to dig it up and toss it, but it never gets done.  So this morning I began with my garden shears to clip the old brown grass off of the roots at the ground level.. This took over an hour, as I sat on the concrete and cut away.

I looked for a rake, but found none.  It seems strange that all our rakes are just gone, but then our kids use the place when we are not there, and perhaps the rakes bit the dust and were tossed.  Or perhaps they are really there , and per Loyce I am too bumbling to find them.  But anyway I jumped in the car and drove the 6 or 7 miles into Lowes, and purchased both a leaf rake and a solid tooth garden rake.

As I returned I raked out a space on the side of the hill opposite the driveway, and began to burn some of the leaves.  I started quite small and was only adding a rake full every now and then.  But, of course, a big wind came up and blew the fire over in the unraked part of the hill, and all of a sudden I had a hostile grass fire!

This made my heart pound, as I ran around raking a fire line, and beating out the burning grass.  It was surrounded on three sides by concrete, so it couldn't go too far, but I didn't want to burn the yard too.  I managed to get it back under control, and was really glad that I had purchased the bigger spring tooth leaf rake.  I was using it to beat out the grass as it was back burning against the wind.

So I ended up burning a bunch of the hill clean of all the brown grass and the leaves.  It looks as though I intended to burn that part, but that might not be exactly the truth.  I'm sure some of the neighbors were wondering what the heck I thought I was doing.  We are way out in the county, so there are no burning rules.  But still I think I should have waited until the wind was calmer.

Judgment is always 20/20 in hindsight!  So with a nice big fire break all burned into the side of the hill, I continued to burn all the leaves and grass clump clippings.   It was ten feet to anything that would burn now.  Still I continued to add just a little at a time.  Seemed like I raked and burned 30 bushels of leaves.  Its always a mess down there in the spring.

There's even more piles of leaves down infront of the rocks and seawall by the lake, but I didn't want to press my luck after the fiasco up by the driveway.

Around three in the afternoon, I went inside and gathered all my stuff and loaded it in the car.  I had washed the dishes and vacuumed in the morning, so I was on the road quickly.

Tonight we went over to Fuddruckers here in Overland Park, for another order of Sweet Potato Fries.  Its been a few weeks since I had those.  I think we found a Fudds in San Diego one night, but I know we never saw one again anywhere.  So a Fudds fix was in order.  I always get the smallest burger, so I will have room for all those tasty fries.  My belt will never get shorter !! Ever!!

Retired Rod


  1. Burning the spring rakings is something I always enjoy. We have mostly pine needles instead of leaves & I rake them up & burn them in the firepit. Know what you mean by having a small fire get away from you. It definitely gets the heart to pumping faster alright.

  2. I burned yard debris at my place in NC, and once in a while it got a little bigger than I had intended. Scares the heck out of you!

  3. I think everyone who has had a backyard burn has experienced some kind of shock and panic - including me. Several years ago, I burned down an apple tree and part of our cedar fence in the back yard. I just turned my head for second and a gust of wind blew sparks over to the tree and it went off like a bomb!! Luckily, I had my garden hose handy and was able to get the fire out before the whole neighbourhood was engulfed. It sure taught me a lesson - I haven't burned in the back yard ever since!!


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