Sunday, March 31, 2013

In today's phenology, our resident phoebes are back.  In the fall they had lingered long, but eventually gone south.  Now enough insects are in flight for them.  I wonder if they will tolerate the bluebird.

I spent much of the weekend outdoors puttering, cutting up the winter's ample deadfall and burning a good deal of it.  Previous years I'd just made brush piles, but although our plot is only an acre and a third, there is just too much wood - especially as I'm clearing out some of the invasives like burning bush and oriental honeysuckle, and replacing the lilacs and forsythia with fruit trees and native plants.

The branches from the pines alone take a long time.  They burn with terrifying intensity and so I do them gradually.  A few years ago we set the peat on fire beneath our campfire.  Unbeknownst to us it smoldered for about ten days, turning the ground to ash, until it reached the woodpile ten feet away - which leapt into flame.  I'm trying not to do that again.

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