Friday, March 13, 2009

Heart attack

My mother sent me this picture of the moon in February during the massive fires that swept Australia. The problem was that she lives in New Zealand - so the red smoky moon really highlighted how terrible those fires were. Fast forward a month or so and with those memories still fresh in my mind I was more than a little shocked as I turned the corner to our house the other day and discovered that the river in front of our house was literally on fire. The flames were jumping up and almost reaching our trees. Everything was pretty dry and there was a stiff wind blowing. The washing was hanging outside (in the smoke). It took me a few minutes to discover that my father in law was also amongst the smoke - with his gas burner thingy helping to fuel the flames! For some reason he had decided to set all the vegetation in the river on fire. Heart attack averted.
Fast forward another couple of hours when after swimming lessons we turned the corner and it looked like the back of our house was on fire.... another heart attack until I discovered that my mother in law had taken it upon herself to clean up all the wood shavings etc. from the wood cutting and felt the need to burn them rather than use them on the paths to keep the weeds away (what I had planned!). The photos don't do the fires justice.... I just don't understand the need to burn everything here.... especially when the washing is hanging outside!


  1. Spring in Japan- cherry blossoms, fuki no to, new school year ...and burning off.

    All my neighbours mark the new growing season by dusting off their flame throwers and burning anything that had the temerity to survive the winter.

    If you want to stir up a hornet's nest you could mention that the government banned all burning off a couple of years ago. Always sets my neighbours off on a 'What does Tokyo know about the trials of being a farmer?' tangent.

  2. oh man, i would be ticked off. i hate smokey clothes!!

  3. We have a set day too - or rather two days. The first day they weed eat everything in the river bed and then the next week they burn it all off. The river bed is too far down for it to look like it would attach our house but the smoke pisses me off too. Burning the paddies after the rice harvesting is more spectacular here.

    Has it really be banned by the government? Surely not - it is almost an event marked on our local town office even calendar.