Burning Bandit – 12.18.11

It was Saturday evening and Danelle came to me quite excited. She had that look in her eye like a kid waiting to go into a candy store. I’m not sure I have ever seen her with that look in her eye before. There was something urgent that she wanted to tell me. She started off like I often do to her, rushing to try and ask for permission for something that I might say no to. I think she forgets that I can probably count on one hand the number of times I have ever told her no. This time would be no exception to that.

“Mary just called me and wants to know if we can do a burn tomorrow morning. The weather looks perfect.” For your reference, Danelle is a Restoration Ecologist. That means that she works hard to keep the land she helps manage as natural as possible. The idea is to make it like people were never here to interrupt it. Okay, maybe they have a few trails to get around the property, but overall native Missouri look. Part of being natural is wild fires. Sane people realize that we just can’t have wild fires near civilization without causing massive damage, so they do prescribed burns. And this is one of the highlights of Danelle’s job.

So Back to the story.

“What time is the burn tomorrow?” I asked.

“We’re supposed to meet at Shaw Nature Reserve at 8 am and then drive out to the property from there.”

Thinking about our plans to meet Steve, Jackie, and baby Nathan at 1:00pm the next day, I inquire, “What time will we be finished?”

“We should be done at noon.”

I knew it was about an hour away. “What about meeting Steve and Jackie tomorrow?” At this statement, she gave me her best sad puppy look I have ever seen. But then she brightened up!

“We could make sure to leave exactly at noon, but I’m sure we’ll be done by then.”

With that, it was settled, and Danelle nearly bounced all over the house the rest of the night. We made sure to get the kids to bed on time so they would be ready to leave the house before 7am the following day.

Danelle didn’t waste any time or complain about getting up early on Sunday, and promptly got the kids moving. Being the supporting husband and wanting to do my part, I promised the kid doughnuts for breakfast. It did just the trick and they were ready to go in no time. We went to Krispy Kreme and the kids watched in awe at the huge machine that makes doughnuts. After a two box special, we got gas next door and were on our way.

At Shaw, we met Mary, James, and his wife. From there, we caravan-ed out to the property of the burn. There was a little over an acre of prairie to burn. My job was to stay with the kids and make sure they stayed out of trouble and the fire. Danelle and her cohorts did all of the burning. Hopefully she’ll comment with more details or provide a follow up post. Below are two videos of the burn and some photos.