What does this little hill of dirt in my Georgia Garden have to do with fire you ask? Click on the below video and see what happens when I poke a stick into this hill of dirt.
If my hand were to get in the way of these things, I would be on fire! You see these are the hideous Fire Ants in the Deep South. If you have never experienced these, be lucky as they are painful little buggers! The first fire ants I ever encountered in my life were in San Antonio, Texas. I freaked when I accidentally disturbed a hill and saw them scattering about on the ground. When living in Killeen, Texas, I once again experienced them but in a more terrifying manner. I was push mowing the grass when I unknowingly ran over an Ant Hill. They were all over my feet and ankles and bit right through my socks. You talk about fire, they are true to their name Fire for sure. My ankles were swollen so large I could not get my shoes on for an entire day! The swelling went down and the poison is in my body so they no longer affect me in such a manner. I also am more aware of them and try to stay clear. We spot treated them for several years with little luck in our yard. The spot we treated would disappear then another hill would magically appear the next day within a few yards of the old hill. We finally had to resort to drastic measures. We had to use a broadcast spreader and treat the entire grassy portions of the yard. That was 2 years ago and until this past fall, we had not seen another ant hill. We will try to spot treat again to see if we can rid them without having to treat the entire yard. I don't like using any type of poison in my gardens as I fear it will harm the wildlife that surrounds me. We used a product called "Over and Out" which is very expensive but it does work for us.
Click on the video to see a Good Fire in my Georgia Garden. This is one of many small bonfire type fires we have in our backyard. I dug a pit about 3 feet deep and 4 feet in circumference. This is where we burn all the fallen debris from our woods. We are only allowed to burn from Oct 1 until May 1 each year. We only burn on days when the wind is not blowing and we keep the area clear of leaves. On this particular day, the sweet gum balls were not removed by the Saint before he started the fire.
The Saint and I argue over picking up the fallen branches from the woods. He says to leave them where they fall for a nature preserve. I say he is lazy and does not want to pick up the limbs, hee hee. Na, not really. I went to a Forest Fire Safety briefing and found out that if you remove fuel (fallen limbs) from the Forest floor, then during drought conditions when a fire could be sparked, it will not be fueled by fallen limbs. Since our house is surrounded by woods and we do get into drought conditions, I want to do my part to keep on track, therefore, we pick up and burn fallen limbs. I call this "Cheap Insurance"
Ah, another Good Fire to have around. This fire in our living room keeps us warm during those chilly nights in the house.
Now this is a Bad Fire I don't want anyone to experience! This is a picture I borrowed from the Internet to remind us of how bad fire can be. I can only imagine the horror the family calling this place home must have gone through. I hope this is one fire I never have to experience!
Why am I talking about Fires today? I had made myself a Grilled Cheese Sandwich and came back upstairs into the office to read some Garden Blogs while indulging in my yummy hot lunch. I then was put to my feet by the sound of the smoke detector buzzing. Cats were running in all directions as I ran down the stairs. I left the pan on the eye of the stove once I had turned it off. A few of the crumbs of bread put a scent into the air that the fire alarm did not like. I reset the alarm and back upstairs I went. Then I heard a beep, beep, beep. Back to the alarm I went to find a dying battery. I changed the old battery with a fresh one and back to the computer I went. We so forgot to replace the battery on New Years Day like we always do. So I am writing this post today to remind everyone to put a fresh new battery into their Smoke Alarm. 2 minutes of your time is well worth it!
As you can see, some fires are good. But not all FIRES, In the Garden...
Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden