May 10, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me

Making Fire
Originally uploaded by Snak Shak
I spent my birthday at my in-laws, doing my part for the annual "Pick-up-Sticks" effort. Pick-up-Sticks is an annual event that takes place on or about Mother's Day. It's called Pick-up-Sticks because traditionally, the largest and most tiresome chore involves patrolling the large yard and picking up all the sticks that drop off the trees over the winter before lawn-cutting season starts in earnest.

This year the large project was cleaning out a large shed to get rid of junk (big junk, like ancient combines and a dead tractor) plus a lot of old hay and scrap wood. I helped out with some electrical work, so now there's light and power in the shed as well.

Between chores, we birded the farm and were rewarded with several Harris' sparrows.

The Pick-up-Sticks effort culminates with a large bon fire on Saturday night where we burn slash from brush clearing, scrap wood from construction projects, and such. This year the weather was perfect - calm wind, and a little rain fell just before we lit the fire. Here's a little of my brother-in-law getting it going. Don't try this at home.

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