Preying mantises were leaping out of the flames, scaling the fence and jumping on my face in panic.
And rightfully so. The neighbour (the one who harvested yesterday) burned off the stubble today to prepare the field for replanting.
I have to say, that though I hate the practice of burning off stubble—it mostly ends up sending nutrients into the air as pollution, rather than back into the soil—I still love to watch a good burn-off. Something about fire…
I had extra incentive to watch this one, as the fire was lit five metres from our fence line, and the wind was blowing towards our property.
It was while I watched that the preying mantises began landing on me. I’m sure there were other insects (and probably a whole lot of mice) fleeing the fire, but I only noticed the mantids.
It won’t be long, though, before they’re back in the neighbour’s field. By this afternoon, it will be planted in grass, to provide winter grazing for his sheep. In a week, you’ll hardly be able to tell it was burnt.
2 thoughts on “Fire!”
Fire is terrifying. We get horrible wild fires in our county. The practice of burning of stubble would never be allowed here because it would get out of control so fast.
Yes, it’s generally very dry here in summer. One of our fencelines is blackened from an out-of-control burn-off a few years before we moved in. We just came off a total fire ban after a little bit of much-needed rain, so farmers are eager to get their stubble burnt off before it dries out again.