Family Traditions (a.k.a. the Lawn Burned Again)

Most families have traditions, whether they realize it or not. Ours seems to have developed the ignoble tradition of setting the lawn on fire.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI am happy to report that the most recent fire occurred while I was off the premises. All the household males were solely responsible for this blaze.

It was a normal day. OK, maybe not normal because there was no wind. Youngest son and I came back from some errands and smelled smoke immediately upon driving in the yard.

It was easy to spot the large black, burned area on the front lawn. It was criss-crossed with a series of garden hoses — the result of trying to find one that would unroll and was not blocked with ice in the sub-freezing weather.

In the middle of a round, unburned area stood our loyal puppy tethered by a 30 foot line to her dog house. Since the fire went around her area, the hubby and boys focused on other priorities rather than letting her loose. Of course, she was thrilled to be in the middle of the action, even if only for a while.

(Do not feel bad for the dog, she earned her confinement by killing chickens, but that is another story.)

We are fast approaching garden season. This usually involves me burning excess residues in some parts of the garden. There is a really good chance we will have another “burned lawn” post in the near future.

I will be sure to get some good pictures.


About jheem

I grew up on a diversified dairy farm in southeast South Dakota where I learned how to throw a hay bale, pull a calf, deal with death, and "name" the cows. I was in 4H and FFA, and was privileged to serve as a state FFA officer. In college, I studied animal science, focusing on beef cows, mostly because I figured they were less work than dairy cows....I ended up with a Masters Degree in ruminant nutrition and went to work for the University of Nebraska, first as a research tech coordinating data collection for a swine unit and beef feedlot on a research farm and then as an extension educator. In my current job, I focus on environmental issues related to animal agriculture (which is a nice way of saying I talk about manure alot). My husband and I live and work on a seedstock cattle operation in northeast Nebraska. You can learn more about our cattle operation by visiting my husband's blog at
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