Sunday, February 26, 2012

Smoke in the woods

I love smelling woodsmoke drifting through the air this time of year, and I'm grateful for the wonderful ecology it perpetuates (the understory in a longleaf pine forest is the most botanically diverse north of the tropics, and utterly dependent fire-dependent).  Fire is a natural part of coastal plain ecology and the plants and critters here depend on it.  Periodic fire keeps the pines and associated herbaceous diversity in the uplands and the wonderful array of hardwoods in the bottomlands.  

Historically, lightning (and aboriginal folks) ignited fires that would burn for miles and miles until a river or weather put an end to it.  Today, with a patchwork of highways, cropfields, towns, and houses...we help mother nature along by lighting some fires ourselves.  I love how the fresh black of a recent burn turns emerald green in a few weeks, while the faint scent lingers in the spring air.  Spring cleaning, so to speak.... 

So I'm often asked if I'm a pyro.....yeah, reckon so. 

Papa and Levi on Levi's first burn

Turkeys will be scratching in here before it quits smoking.

My big helper.

87 and still working in the woods!


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