Flashback to the early 80’s. I’m eleven years old, living in a non-descript NY suburb with a simple chore; rake and bag a half acres’ worth of leaves. Nailed the raking part. The disposal, not so much. I've never been a fan of plastic bags and why bag a massive ten foot high pile of leaves when you can burn it. The answer that day: because apparently it tends to freak out the neighbors and the local fire department. You know what they say, live and learn…or just by a place in the country.

One of the benefits of owning a place in the Catskills; bonfires at will. In the picture above, I’ve taken some straw that was laid on top of new grass, the wood from a few trees that I cut down (more about that in another post) and some sticks/leaves from the prior fall. It took about nine months for the freshly cut wood to dry. In that time, I suspected that it became a habitat for all sorts of critters drawn to piles of wood so before setting it ablaze, I poked it a few times to scare off any life.  And then poof, up it went in all its blazing glory.

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