Wednesday, 2 October 2013

where there's fire, there is smoke

Kinda goes without sayin', don't you think?  And yet, I feel the need to say it anyway.

There are always little twigs and things fallin' from the trees in my yard and when they do, the peeps will gather 'em up and put them in the compost pile or green bin.  I should explain.  A green bin is a big bin where you can put compostable stuff to be picked up with the garbage if you don't want to compost it yourself.  It's called a green bin 'cause it's a bin and well...  it's green. 

Sometimes however, those little twigs that fall from the trees are more like branches.  A garden inspection done immediately after a big storm will usually find a branch or two.  Also, when the squirrels start doin' their hoedowns up in the oak trees in the fall, branches often appear afterwards on the ground.  This has become quite commonplace since the invasion of the grey squirrels.  Those grey squirrels are particularly big and heavy and when they start dancin' in the trees, stuff breaks.  It happens.  It happens more often than you might think.

Anywho...  when twigs grow into branches and those branches fall to the ground, the peeps gather them up and drag 'em out of the way.  They can't put 'em in the green bin 'cause even though the green bin is big, it's not that big.  They also can't put 'em in the compost pile 'cause they're so big, they'd take forever to break down into compost.  They could, I suppose, chip 'em in a wood chipper but since we don't have a wood chipper, that's not gonna happen.  I suggested to peep #1 that she employ a woodchuck 'cause everyone is always askin' how much those woodchucks can chuck and I figured that this would be the perfect opportunity to discover the answer but apparently, chuckin' is different from chippin'.  Who knew?

So where exactly do my peeps put those twigs that are the size of branches?  Why, they put in a brush pile, of course.  We have a brush pile just for such occasions.  Actually, we have two of 'em.  We needed to start up a second one after the Great Squirrel Hoedown of  2008.  That was a doozie of a party.  There were branches, acorns and squirrels everywhere.  Little squirrel-sized bottles of nut beer scattered all over the ground, too.  Little empty squirrel-sized bottles of nut beer scattered all over the ground.  But I digress.  My point is, there were a lot of branches and brush and whatnot needin' to be piled.

Havin' a brush pile in your garden is a good thing, you know.  Brush piles provide protection for lots of little critters who need protectin'.  The peeps know that havin' a brush pile is an environmentally sound decision while bein' kind to animals at the same time.  They'll always have a brush pile 'cause of this.  Always and forever.

My peeps just keep addin' to the brush piles.  They never get that big.  Stuff at the bottom breaks down and they keep on addin' to the top.  It works out well.

Other peeps however, have different ideas.  Here in the wilds of Nova Scotia, peeps have a habit of burnin' brush and leaves and stuff.  They also have a habit of burnin' brush piles.

Truth be told, we don't actually live in the wilds of Nova Scotia.  We live in a subdivision.  It's not overly wild.  Well, Ol' Peepers' hair was lookin' pretty wild the other day but that's a different kind of wild, I should think.

Last Saturday afternoon, our new neighbours decided to burn some brush.  They scoured their property for brush and piled it high.  Then they lit it on fire.  As the fire consumed the brush, they added more and more and even more of the woody branches and twigs and things.  They kept that fire going for several hours.

At first, it wasn't so bad.  There was some smoke 'cause a lot of the brush had had green leaves attached to it.  All that smoke was going straight up in the air so although it was very bad for the planet, it wasn't directly affectin' either me or my peeps.  County law allows for the burnin' of brush so the neighbours were allowed to do what they were doin' and, I repeat, the smoke was headin' straight up so things seemed to be in paw.

But that all changed by Saturday evenin'.  After dinner, the peep and I went into my office to do a quick edit on my Sunday post.  We opened the door and were smacky-pawed in the face by a wall of smoke.  SMOKE!  Smoke in my office!  MOUSES!!!

The first thing the peep thought was that something in the house was on fire.  Something in my office.  Then she realised that no, thankfully, that was not the case at all.  What had happened was that she had left two windows open in the afternoon and the smoke from that neighbour's brush pile had come in from the outside.

Ol' Peepers stepped outside and there, the smoke was even worse.  It was everywhere.  It hung in the night air.  There was a smoky haze in our back yard, our front yard, the driveway and even out on the street.  At least half the subdivision was filled with smoke.  It was awful.

You could see the smoke, it was so thick.  And it smelled.  Actually, it stunk.  It had a horrible, acrid smell.  It smelled like there had been more than just wood and leaves bein' burned that afternoon.  There must have been some plastic or rubber in that pile of brush to create such a horrendous stinky stink.  My gosh, the smell was even worse than the smell of the skunk from two nights before!  MOUSES!

And the smoke got in my eyes and made them water.  And it got in my nose and made me sneeze.  I didn't even wanna breath but had to 'cause...  you know...  a kitty has gotta breathe.  It's kind of important, you see.

Like I said before, county laws allow peeps to burn brush and leaves.  They're not allowed to burn garbage, mind you, but brush and leaves are okay.   They're allowed to burn it as long as doin' so doesn't create a fire hazard.   They don't want sparks causing forest or grass fires.  Forest and grass fires seem to be their main concern.

I wholeheartedly agree that preventin' forest and grass fires is important.  In fact, it's super-duper important.  But what  about breathing?  Is the ability to breathe not important, too?  Doesn't every cat and every peep have the right to be breathin' clean, fresh air?  Air that's not filled with acrid-smelling, stinky smoke?

'Cause here's the dilemma, my friends.  Where there's fire, there is smoke.  It's almost inevitable.  Fire and smoke go hand in hand and paw in paw.  Where you have one, you're gonna have the other.  To think anything otherwise is crazy talk.  Crazy as crazy can be.  Why, it's crazier than a squirrel makin' nut pies.  It's crazier than a drunken squirrel makin' nut pies and let me tell you, that's pretty darned crazy, if you know what I mean.  MOUSES!

38 comments:

  1. I have to agree... Grew up in a country area in Ireland, and it is just horrible, to be honest. Would prefer clean air. Love your style of writing... almost like I can hear you talk. :) Hi to the squirrels!

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    1. Awww... so very nice of you to say that. purrs

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  2. How scary! It's illegal to burn leaves where for this reason. MOUSES now you have to air out your office. I wish you had a CritterZone.

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  3. I love to have fires when it's cold out!

    Love havin' fires:-)

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  4. All our garden waste is collected and put in bins which the local council come and empty every other week so we don't have that problem.
    Luv Hannah and Lucy xx xx

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  5. We love campfires but eek that sounds pretty scary!

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  6. Well, we do love ourselves the fire in the fireplace cuz its all nice and toasty but we would NOT like it if the humans didn't make it so there was NO SMOKE. Whew, what a mess!

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  7. Goodness! What a mess! I do hope there wasn't anything too acrid or poisonous being burnt as well as the leaves and twigs!

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  8. In our county we are allowed to burn our yard debris too. But we don't. We recycle it. But ummmm we wouldn't have liked ALL that smoke in our house, what did you do??? WHEW what a mess Nissy.

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    1. Peep turned the heat way up so that she could leave the windows open all night and then started up some fans. By mornin', all the smoke was out of my houses. It was truly icky.

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  9. Your blogs are terrific. I agree, we shouldn't be aloud fires in residential areas.

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  10. dood...de nayborz shuld bee thanx full they dinna set ther houz on fire ore sumthin....a slite wind N that wood bee all she wrote as de sayin goez....frank lee we loves de smell oh burnin leaves anda wood burnin fire but de green stuffz doez stink....

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  11. Oh, I would not like that smoke at all!! Indoors or outside, it's not good. I don't think it's legal to do that here, thank cod.

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  12. Hate when it comes in your house. Stinky. Might of not been so bad it they didn't make it so big. Glad you got the smell out.
    Sue B

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  13. Ugh, smoke is awful. We're glad your peep got it out of your house. It isn't healthy for cats or peeps to breathe smoke.

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  14. Out here in the hills of northeast L.A., nobody DARES to do that - we live in a big time fire zone! It always amazes me that there are places where people can get their firebug on and not risk burning down the whole neighborhood and beyond.

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  15. Oh dear! Maybe some woodchucks teamed up with some beavers would have been better! Me-Ommmmm

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  16. Holy smokes! That is not fun at all, kind of burns ya up too!

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  17. Whoa! That's illegal here but those barbeque grills also cause smoke and smells of burnt cow. Thanks for the comment. It's actually a mix of nip and valerian in the cow.

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  18. Yikes! That's illegal here also, and yes the barbeque grills cause smoke, but not that much as we have quite a bit of room between houses. So we are allowed to do that, but we cannot burn trash or garbage or brush.

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  19. Poor Nissy * sough sough * We have pollen this time of year here, just as bad as smoke * acheeeeee*

    Silver

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  20. You're not supposed to burn stuff here either, but some neighbors have fire pits...which are okay to have...so they can have a campfire and sit around it and sing, we guess. Anywho, when someone uses their fire pit and the wind is blowing just right...or rather, just wrong...and our windows are opened, it will smell like a campfire in our house. It's really frustrating because we'll have to close all the windows.

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  21. Aw, Nissy, that's awful. The Human always feels kinda headachy from smoke. In parts of California, new homes are not allowed to be built with real fireplaces, only gas ones. And there are lots of "Spare the Air" days when even fires in existing fireplaces are forbidden (course since we don't really even HAVE a gub'mint anyways these days, whatever. We hope it clears up QUICK!

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  22. I hate smoke too. 2 months ago Indonesia had brush fires and the smoke blew into Singapore for a week, Every Person had to wear masks to protect themselves. The problem there were no Kitty size masks so us felines had to suffer!

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  23. well that was a bit rude and ignorant of those people,glad your peep got rid of the stink,xx Speedy

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  24. Nu burning here as lordy knows what would happen??? Mind you a lot of people dump garden waste as you have to pay extra to have it taken away. We don't like smoke either. Have a tremendous Thursday.
    Best wishes Molly

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  25. We're glad our neighborhood neighbors don't burn anything...but our neighboring country..good golly, once a year, they burn down acres of plantation. And the wind blows them over to our country, choking us with awful, stinking haze for days or weeks. And that means we get no access to our catio. Nor do we see sunlight for the duration of that time. AWFUL.
    We hope your smoke didn't last days...

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  26. Oh I totally understand - totally. People can burn stuff around here and they do - but most often it's the guy across the street from us who does and he gets a BIG fire going (did one last week) and if the wind's blowing just right we get tons of smoke AND ash. Ash all over the house, grass, deck, porch - it's a big mess. I'm sure he doesn't give it a second thought - the big mess it's making - but we also worry about brush fires. It's been VERY DRY here.....why bother burning if it's dangerous??? HMMMM????? Inquiring minds want to know! Right Nissy????? Right!

    Kitty Hugs, Sammy

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  27. Nissy, we do not like the sound of this one bit. Sure glad that is not allowed where we live. We wouldn't even be able to go out on the catio. Plus, our mommy is allergic to wood smoke. Sounds as if you are as well. Hope your neighbors have nothing left to burn. Purrs and hugs, Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth and Calista Jo

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  28. Smoke can cause lots of uncomfortable stuff. We are so sorry your place was invaded with stinky smoke. Hopefully they will not do that again. Hugs and nose kisses

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  29. Peoples does funny stuff.
    Kisses
    Nelllie

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  30. I don't like fireplaces and smoke either, Nerissa..even if we only have smoke of our neighbour's barbecue. I hope you're fine now. Pawkisses :)

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  31. My sounds like a lot of stink. If these are these the neighbors as in The Neighbors who caused a bit of problem in the past then fight smoke with fire I say and do a nice leaf burn in the next month or so. When they are having outside doings of course and pile wet leaves on top. Fight smoke with fire, I mean smoke, oh you know
    Timmy the fightin kitty

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  32. We have those green bins here Nissy. They are called wheelie bins! We have a black one for non-recycling household waste and a green one for the compostable stuff. We also have a small brown bin, and I dread to think what that is for!!?? Some people have a blue one too! The country is just one big wheelie bin! Oh, and I agree, breathing is, like, important and stuff!!!

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  33. Geez.... thank goodness you are okay, Nissy! We were getting worried for a minute about you. Sounds like quite the ordeal and we hope your neighbors stop burning their brush piles!

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