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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Wiennie Chickens

Today dawned nice and cold. There was no wind to speak of and the sky was a mix of sun and clouds.
I had plans, so I hurried to get things done in the barn so I could get going on them.

We had a good snow covering of 4 inches, the first real snowfall of the season. It was gonna be a PERFECT day to burn down the brush pile that has been here for 5 years. I have actually, burned it twice before, each time it gets smaller, but there was still a lot of it left.

Our county is set up so you need to got into the sheriff's office and get a "burn permit" on the day you are planning to burn. It's so they know who to send the bill to, in case it gets out of hand, and the fire department has to come out and extinguish it....

At any rate, I got my permit, then headed home to light the pile. I had been saving up trash in the barn (scraps of rope, oil bottles, feed bag ribbons, wrappers, cardboard, etc, not garbage...), until I had the box our dishwasher came in, FULL. I also had 5 feed sacks stuffed with stuff, and some paper and newspaper from the house. I was ready for action!

I had added a few busted up pallets, and a bunch of "end pieces" from old lumber to the pile. It was pretty dry - despite the snow - and started REALLY easy.

Within a half hour, most of the pallets, lumber, and extra stuff had burned off and the trees were fully engulfed. This was after over half of the pile was burnt:

This pile had started out as several large trees that had been pushed up to clear a path for our driveway. The dozer operator had shoved and rolled them into a tight pile but it had lots of dirt. We cut a lot of firewood out of the pile, but it was getting dangerous to cut, so we burned it. That first "burn" reduced the pile by about half. Last year, I reduced it by about half again.

This year, it started out as being about 10' tall, 15' thick, and 25' long. A far cry from it's original self.

By 10:30, it was up to about 16°, with no windchill, so I decided to let the chickens out for a stretch. They had been inside the coop since Saturday night due to the extreme wind chills. Several came outside but, they all huddled against the south side of the coop! I guess the sun beating down on the metal side of the shed made them feel warm.

A few brave souls ventured off to the barn, but didn't stay long.

Tomorrow, we're supposed to get an ice storm, so they probably will end up staying in the coop again.

My brush pile ended up as a mere "shadow" of it's former glory. There are a few smaller logs that will be coals by morning, and a couple of pieces that I will just move to the next brush pile I burn so I can clean up around this one.

I'm just happy that it's gone. I still need to burn at least one, maybe two this winter.

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