By small increments we prepare to put 150 cider apple trees in the northwest field at the end of April. Early on a calm Sunday morning three weeks ago we burned the large brush pile in the corner. This is what remained when I pulled all the metal and glass and every other damn thing from the burn-and-bury dump that had been there. And we'd added a lot of invasive mulberry and other matter that we'd cleared and trimmed elsewhere.
Cattle foraging on soybean stubble:
To the west and north of our northwest corner:
A diesel-soaked rag as a torch:
A few creatures, pheasant and rabbit and vole, abandoned homes in the brush pile, most before the fire but a couple rabbit not until the flames licked close.
These intriguing tracks, we finally concluded, represent the last steps of pheasant before their wingtips scrape the ground and they fly into the air:
It all went pretty quickly:
And that was that. But we've got a bunch of other brush piles...