Sunday, March 04, 2007

Mississippi Burning

Saturday, Dad and I went down to the plantation to watch prescribe burning on the farm. We have a very healthy pine forest, but we haven't burned for a while. The fuel load was getting a little high, putting the forest at risk should an uncontrolled fire break out, and running burns kills the brush and leaves more food for wildlife. It's just a good thing to do from a conservation point.

Dad has only been to Weir (the town he grew up in and that the plantation is closest to) two times in the last decade. Interestingly enough, the funeral home buried my Grandfather in the wrong plot, and rather than exhume him just put a new tombstone over his grave. Dad saw the tombstone for the first time - which is strange, since Grandpa died 17 years ago.

We visited a man named Sambo, who maintained the homesite after Grandpa died and is very dear to our family. I had always heard about Sambo, but never met him until yesterday. He worked doing very manual labor well into his 70's - he was mowing our yard at the plantation until about five years ago.

Seeing the farm was just strange. Katrina created winds which knocked several trees down on the house - we had to have it torn down. Only the concrete slab from the car port remains of the house my dad grew up in. The picnic house and several storage sheds have all been rummaged through by thieves, and all the roofs are starting to have damage on them. Dad and I decided that, since we want to hunt and fish on the farm, we're going to fix up the picnic house. We plan on putting a tin roof on the picnic house, cutting the branches away from it, digging underneath it, and putting bars on the doors and windows to keep it nice once we get it the way we want. There is a nice pond there with good fishing (Grandpa actually dug the pond himself). We're going to cut back the trees, leaving several around the pond for shade, and burn around it. Basically, we can fit three people in that picnic house comfortably as far as existing bunks go, so we just want a nice place to hunt and fish out of.

Above are some pictures I took from a fun Saturday. The great thing is that I wasn't really cost a lot of work by being down there - the wireless card we picked up for my laptop gave me plenty of opportunity to get work done in the car on the way down and back!

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