flame! we need more flame!

Around here we tease Isabel the cat nightly - when the fire dies down in the fireplace, we imagine her calling out in her foreign kittycat accent to us 
as she reclines luxuriously on the ottoman in front of it - 

"flame! we need more flame!"

but sometimes around here we need a different sort of flame...

especially when we get a "bad" bale of hay...

it must be punished by eternal flame damnation!! 
because its FULL of BURRS!!!
Invasive ones even!

so we wait until it snows on the hayfield...

and try not to alert it so it doesnt bolt or get scared off...

quietly mr. foresterman gets the equipment out...

and approaches it in a friendly manner.

real friendly manner.

 in reality he does that with everyone.
but he doesnt alway carry pitchforks and rakes.

This is a real small village after all.. 


ok fine. its not a village at all but this is my thought pattern and welcome to it.


First he gives it a good back scratch... to remove snow.

because snow doesnt burn.
I found out the hard way.
But he knows these things.

and at the right moment, he carefully breaks the twine to loosen it up even more

a totally relaxed haybale burns to its fullest potential, you know.



He then reveals the true nature of a bad haybale



This is where flame gets involved!!!!

(exclamation points full strength!!!)


mr. foresterman carries wooden matches where ever he goes in a tiny waterproof case.

I once tried to get him to my side by extolling the virtues of carrying a lighter, 
but then i once almost started my jeans on fire looking for a piece of gum...

he likes his carrying case and wooden matches better.

Anyhow, here comes the weird part...

he does this all the time. 

Im not sure if its for show, or if its really to start a match when you dont have a rock to strike it against.

But it works- 
for both me and the match.


Moving on,

When the haybale is looking the other way, he carefully inserts the match ~

we have FLAME!

heres where the rake really comes in handy...

Braving the smoke, 
he proceeds to rake it over the coals, literally..

 Dexterdog is impressed by his incineration skills too...

 He man-fully and adept-fully  handles the flames...


 Whats that Dexterdog?

Fire dad? 

Dad fire?

 HES ON FIRE????!!!!



ignoring my screams, he continues to rake.

he knows that sometimes i get excited.

I then realized it was just the flames playing tricksy on us through angles and the camera lense.

yes, I didnt drop my camera.

If they would have not tied my arms down with IV's to the operating table last October,
I would have those pictures to show you too.
last thing I remember saying before they put me out was -
"gee, this is kinda uncomfortable..."


 this haybale is really on fire now.

Its definitely full of hot air!

mr. foresterman says he's used to that..



like my temper sometimes,

it slowly burns down to just seething...

But wise mr. foresterman knows its not done yet...
so with a little  fluffing here and there he provokes it to make sure it is finished...

truly finished.

rakes and pitchforks are handy that way.

smart man.

And like one of my favorite sayings...

"the evening's coals are the morning's ashes"

that can mean a whole plethora of things, 
but it reminds me that what seems so hot and almost uncontrollable now, 
can be cool and confident later...

good motto to live by, isnt it Dexterdog?

and so,

its time to go back in as the sun sets and the wind dies down...


Thank you friends for sharing these flamin' moments with me!!!



  1. sad that you get bad bales! but glad you had enough snow to make burning safe!

  2. Sorry about the burrs, I hope they aren't in too many bales! Neat fire!!! Good pic of Mr. Foresterman too!

  3. Glad you caught it before it got fed . best way to get rid of it too

  4. That photo of him striking the match is priceless, hysterically funny!! OMG, I can't breathe...

  5. This city girl didn't know there was such a thing as bad bales of hay! Made one heck of a bonfire though:@)

  6. Your all knowing Foresterman is a keeper but you already know that, right Missy FW.

    I learned something new today, thanks for great pics.. love your commentary style :)

    be well n happy,

  7. He He I love this post. Your commentary is funny and your pictures are great. I didn't know there was such a thing as a bad hale bay - so I learned something new today as well. Thanks!!!

  8. Hey Feral I love this post it is a little chilly here and I was missing real flames, my hands are warm now I held them to the screen.
    We unfortunately rented land one year and baled all the hay. It turns out we really were baling thistle we have been dealing with that darn thistle for twenty years now. Do you know Goldfinch love thistle seeds I watch them for hours eating then spreading them where ever they go :(
    My Hero starts a match like that too must be a guy thing. I would be afraid of starting my pants on fire.
    I love your photos you had me a little worried with The flaming man shot but I was happy to see it was a cool illusion.
    I just love reading your stories you make me very happy. Thanks Feral and you must be feeling better. YEAH. Hey get back to those wedding plans quit slacking by the fire.:) B

  9. A lighthearted look at a serious job! Glad that Dexter Dog was there to supervise.

  10. Quite a documentary! Who needs a box of matches to strike the match when you have a zipper?

  11. Awesome!! makes it sounds so much more interesting than just burning a bale. I love how he seaks up on it (I'm picturing it running away and Mr Foresterman chasing it, lol)

    That last burning picture looks so cool with the embers inside the hay.

  12. Bad hay really burns me....I couldn't resist that one..what can I say! Hopefully not many more like that in your barn-full! Great post-thanks for the entertainment as always!!

  13. Some great photos and funny commentary.... ahem indeed!

  14. I was not expecting the Mr. Foresterman match strike. Laughed WAY out loud! :-)

  15. That zipper trick is mighty handy.

  16. Interesting. How long did it take for the big bale to burn? Dexterdog is a good supervisor.

  17. OK on the subject of the zipper that everybody kinda bypassed...I'm just gonna say it....I thought it was kinda hot...you devious thing you.Great commentary on what would normally ....if anybody else was doing it a ho hum task. Love Dexterdogs great supervising skills.Mr. Foresterman really did look like he was on fire ...had me going for a sec.

  18. Bad, bad, bad hay! Good thing Mr Foresterman was on fire patrol and zapped that burr filled roll!

  19. Good thing Mr. Foresterman is a good fireman. Loved the post and the smile you always put on my face!

  20. Awesome!!! I love me some helpful fire. Great pics.

  21. I don't think I will ever forget this. Good thing he wasn't wearing Button up 501 blues! :)

  22. I loved this! You are so entertaining. I love the way you share. Makes me smile everytime.

  23. So fun! Pictures and words just a superb match. Oh yeah, and that match. What can I say? :)

  24. The match....

    Have I ever told you what a doll you are? You're so exciting!


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