The weather has been hot for the past two weeks. Rain will not return until November. The winter was very dry; we are living in severe drought conditions as you all know. The grass is completely brown in the donkey area, the oak pasture and most everywhere else. There are still a few patches of greenish grass in the pasture shared by Lucy and Pistol and on the front lawn -- which gets a lot of shade from the towering oaks.
The other night when I got home from work, Brett was busy weed whacking the brown grass along the stream bed. I went upstairs to change and caught a whiff of smoke through the bedroom windows. I noticed it, but I didn't think about it. I moved Lucy and Pistol from the barn into their pasture and the smell continued. Lucy had her head up high, looking around but otherwise things seemed normal. After getting the girls settled, I let out the dogs and headed over to muck the oak pasture. That's when I noticed a wisp of smoke curling up from the stream bed bank, where Brett had been weed whacking. He had moved further down the stream bed, with his back to me as he swung the weed whacker back and forth. I screamed his name but got no response -- the weed whacker is loud, his ears were covered with protective covers as was his face. I ran, jumping over the stream, waving my arms frantically, and continuing to yell. He finally noticed me.
While Brett ran to get the hose, I ran back to the smoldering weeds and started scuffing dirt up and over the fire with my tennis shoes. Brett arrived, hauling the hose, and we soaked it but good.
We've heard a lot of stories about fires starting up here by people mowing their pastures. The blades of the mower hit a rock, create a spark, and the fire is off and running. We couldn't figure out how the string on a weed whacker could start a fire. Then Brett remembered. He had set it down to pull out some grass that had wedged in the head. The motor must have been resting in the weeds and it was hot.
Sedona is much better this evening. She ate all her dinner and didn't wheeze after chasing the cat into my garden. She's a tough old dog.