Coyote Soup

Bringing life back to the family ranch with three young free range braves and lots of organic elbow grease.

Surrounded by Fire April 4, 2011

On our way out to the ranch this morning, it was apparent that everyone in the county was dealing with the same thing…

Wildfires.

It’s that time of year when farmers and ranchers burn off the dead forage, making way for the new growth. Everyone except us. We’ve been so busy, that setting the gangly blue stem ablaze just isn’t a priority this year. But since the neighbor’s flames were approaching against the light southern breeze, we decided to keep an eye on it.

The best view just so happened to be next to this old buffalo wallow. This, the old timers have told me, is the spot where the buffalo used to roll around.

Fortunately, there is a gravel road partitioning our parcel from the neighbor’s.

We don’t anticipate the fire jumping the road onto our land, but if it did, our chances of stopping it would be pretty close to zilch if we weren’t hovering over it.

Once we were convinced the county road barrier would be sufficient to tame the flames to a grinding halt, we decided to head back to the farm to feed and fix fence.

Like this one.


We only had to repair a couple of spots on this patch of fence.

Distracted by the aroma of my favorite spring flower, I headed down by the creek to collect a bouquet.

That’s when I caught sight of something scurrying through the fallen leaves, just under my sneakers. I was about to retreat into the creek, but stopped short as the creature beat me to it, swiftly slipping into the waterway.

Guess what it was.

Just take a wild guess.

I don’t know what my problem is with serpents. I’ve spent way too much time in the wilderness.

Having three close encounters in the past couple of weeks must be giving me a thick skin. I didn’t even break out in hives while taking pictures of the little frightened, limbless carnivore. Nevertheless, I wasted no time making my way out of the woods.

As the sun was beginning to set, my husband decided to let the cows into the newly patched pasture and ignite a few old brush piles while I checked my favorite mushroom spot for morels.

Sure enough, I found four of the juicy boogers.

Only these weren’t so juicy. They were quite dry.
I wonder if I can just rehydrate them?

The crackling nearby was really starting to pick up as the brush heated through.

Then something funny happened.

The fire jumped. Not onto the field… but onto another limb!

Notice the original fire on the left. The sun setting in the middle. And the newly ignited fire on the limb to the right.

At least when the sun goes completely down, the cows will have a nice candle light dinner.

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One Response to “Surrounded by Fire”

  1. Cindy Haley Says:

    Look at you! Not running from a rat snake! You’re getting brave! Those stinkers will put on a really aggressive show for you, but they’re really harmless, too.


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