Sun Pony Ranch

Diary of novice (clueless) ranch owners

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

That's a hot one

We've heard about hay and compost piles spontaneously combusting before. Get them wet, they start to ferment, and can actually build up enough heat to combust. One day years ago I went to Jordan's barn for a ride and the fire department was there putting out some of the piles out in the pasture.

But it still seems so inconceiveable. Well, couple weekends ago I started the compost pile flipping process, that Anthony finished this weekend. I had a good portion of a pile moved (our piles are about 12 feet in diameter at the base, and 6 feet tall.) and the wind kicked up. Sure enough, smoke started coming out of the front face after I'd left to do something else. Dave picked at it, and one section was burning. The horse apples each looking just like a charcoal briquette. How bizarre. Fortunately it was a very small section which just smoldered itself out.

But how amusing it was, after having spent so much time trying to get things to burn.. and here we had things we didn't want burning doing so spontaneously.

Speaking of burning, I was returning to the house after feeding the horses last week. It was just getting dark, and Dave was burning behind the kennel screening fence. You know, the very long solid wood picket fence we have. It was a stunning sight, actually, seeing the flames leap up above the level of the fence, while also shining through the gaps between the pickets. I was nervous enough about that fence catching fire I decided to go help him. Though it got to be total dark before we finished, it didn't matter a whole lot since the fire gave us plenty of light. Well.. until we finished and put out the rest of the lingering flames, and found ourselves a really long way from the house in the middle of a field. Heh -- made a mental note to grab a flashlight next time!



Blogger Dean said...

How's the smell ?


5/4/07, 1:20 PM  

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