I woke up startled from a short mid-day nap yesterday. Something was off, but I couldn't quite grasp what immediately. I heard the sprinklers, but they sounded louder than usual. As I walked out on the porch, my tired eyes saw massive amounts of water coming out of sprinklers that weren't there when I laid down. Huge white sprays of water loudly rushing out of somewhere...then it clicked. That wasn't water. It was smoke, and it was touching our fence line. As I scanned around the house, all I saw were flames and smoke, with faint men's voices scurrying in the midst of the billowing white and black thick air. One came running up to the fence, "Do you have wire cutters?" he said in a half-panic, pointing to the other fence which the fire had jumped. They needed to get the car through, but were stuck. I had none. As I looked down, I noticed my grass was alive with the scurries of a thousand grasshoppers escaping the flames.
In any other town, I would have been panicking. But last month I learned that this is the time where everyone burns down their dry winter fields, in preparation for summer and the green grass that lies below, awaiting the burn so that it can rise. It was a little surreal, standing in the middle of a fire on all sides, but this is also another reason why I love it out here; you just never know what to expect.
The following are shots from last month when they burned the fields across from our old lodge. I was surprised that there were quite a few ladies working on the fire crews. When I brought out my camera, they posed happily for me, proudly asserting that they were kinda bad asses.