I've mentioned before that our house is just one big list of projects. Well, that applies to our yard/pasture too. (It was a pasture that we put our house in the middle of and started mowing...therefore magically transforming it into a "yard". Sounds lovely doesn't it?)
Anyway, one of the problems we have in our backyard is wild blackberries. The canes are overtaking our yard by two feet a year. Those things multiply faster than rabbits and they are a lot harder to mow over. (Sorry, that's gross, I know.) We love the blackberries, but we are missing the use of a large portion of our yard.
We finally got sick of it and took some action. We got out the matches and lighter fluid and got to work. We lit fires all through the briar patch and watched them roar. The only problem is that they burnt everything but the blackberry canes (which Brian reminded me are not dead, but just dormant for the winter, despite their dry, brown appearance). At that point (with all of the weeds, leaves and sticks burnt off) we had to resort to using large pruning shears to cut each and every cane off at ground level by hand. Not fun.
We worked for about 8 hours and cleared three-quarters of the area that we wanted to. It was slow work, standing in the midst of the fires cutting off the canes and dragging them out to a pile with the rake, but it made a huge difference. We came through the day with sore backs and arms, and smelling like smoke, but otherwise unscathed....well mostly.
At one point I looked through the smoke and saw Brian doing a little dance in the midst of the briar patch. Apparently his pant leg was on fire. He was frantically trying to stomp on his left pant leg with his right foot, but every time he thought he had the fire out it would flare up again. He finally resorted to standing on a portion of the burnt denim and yanking up his left leg in order to rip off the burning portion. Of course I was very helpfully laughing.....while standing at a safe distance from the mini wildfires. Upon further examination he discovered that his boot laces had been burnt through too.
When I asked him how he realized that his pants were on fire he said, "Well, my leg was getting really hot."