Yesterday and today, I was out ripping, cracking, and cutting off dead perennials tops that I hadn't cleaned up in the fall. I gathered three wheel barrows yesterday, and two more wheel barrows today, as well as some fallen branches and pine cones. I created a pile in my vegetable garden which is currently bare, except for strawberries growing on one side. I was planning on having a burn which is a good way to get rid of excess dry plant material, and quite frankly, was a shorter distance than carting it down to the big burn pile at the edge of our property.
So, all was going well. It was a small enough pile that once the initial flare up occurred , it was a nice little fire that wasn't going anywhere. I was standing guard with my trusty rake and a garden hose was within distance if necessary. (This is a whole different mentality than my husband who burns on a much larger scale and is of the opinion that "everything burns").
So, I was a little scared when I heard the sirens. They firehall is opposite the main road. I can see it from my house. It is, however, the fire hall for the neighbouring municipality, not the one I live in. I am sure that if fires are big and bad enough that fire departments come from any number of municipalities, regardless of where the fire is. Still, I thought, "Oh, good lord, someone overreacted to seeing my flames and called it in!" Even worse, instead of zooming down the main road, the trucks turned in my direction. I was starting to plan what I would say, rake in hand. But thankfully, the trucks continued on their way (well, not that thankful for whoever was involved in the actual incident, but at least it wasn't a false alarm caused by me).
After breathing a bit of a sigh of relief, I continued to rake bits of material that hadn't burned on the edges toward the middle, and grabbed at a few dead tomato stems in the garden. In this process, I must have unearthed a toad. It was the colour of the soil and I almost didn't see him. I'm glad he moved and "announced" his presence. I've been surprised by many toads over the years. I like them. They are good to have in my gardens. I just don't fancy picking them up. This particular toad seemed determined to hop towards my fire. Even the ground around it must have been hot and I kept trying to deter him by putting my shoe in the way, or the rake. Silly, confused toad. Once the pile was just a smoldering tiny heap, I left it to start supper. What the toad decides to do is now up to him.
Did anyone else spend the weekend raking and bending and burning?