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Warren Land Fire In The Holler

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Warren Land

Fire In The Holler

by Samuel Warren

After Papa Warren returned to east Texas following a short visit in the 1960s, he told his friends, “I spent two weeks in Missouri visiting my grandson and never stepped on solid ground the whole time I was there. Too many rocks.”

Papa Warren’s joke is based on truth.

The official story is that Stone County, Missouri was named in honor of Judge William T. Stone, but look down under your feet and you wonder if the early settlers were just using their God-given “common sense.”

Look at this photo of the ground after a bulldozer rolled over the soil in the Spring and tell me with a straight face that Stone County was named to honor an early judge.  Photo by Samuel Warren

Light My Fire

When I was a kid in the 1960s, farmers would get together in the fall of the year and burn the brush on their property.

They did it because they said that the burning helped to put minerals back into the soil. Also their controlled burns helped to hold down the snake and the tick population by denying snakes and ticks places that they could take cover in for the coming winter.

The frozen pond in the holler shows that the surrounding trees have already shed their leaves.  Photo by Samuel Warren

Local farmers don’t burn off the brush to much anymore. Whenever possible it does seem to help.

A dead cedar tree and a leaf bed catches fire quickly in the holler.  Photo by Samuel Warren

Leaves fall off the trees every fall. Overtime these leaf beds collect in the hollers and can become deep. True, the leaves do rot, but, not quickly.

The Old Timers always said that these deep leaf beds allow the ticks and chiggers to burrow down for the winter and the temperatures have to be extremely cold to kill off the ticks.

Flames quickly consume the brittle leaves and dead cedar tree.  Photo by Samuel Warren

Getting rid of the leaves is an up hill battle that Nature always wins. Because by the time you make a noticeable dent in the stockpile of leaves; it’s time for the trees to shed and the dance begins again.

Still if you can get rid of some of the leaves, then, the grass does seem greener and it does seem that the snakes slither to a location more to their liking.

Smoke in the Holler – No Hollywood special effects or dry ice here.  The ghostly mist is smoke floating up the holler from the burning leaf beds.  Photo by Samuel Warren

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Written by samwarren55

December 18, 2009 at 4:57 AM

Posted in Uncategorized

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