Ring of fire

Ring of fire


Doesn’t look like much, does it? This is the fire ring near the shady tarp overlooking the frozen lake. As you can tell, we haven’t used it for a long time. At our original site, we built a fire ring (still there) that is about ten feet in diameter. That was dumb. First of all, what was I thinking I needed that much space for, a signal fire? Second, when I spread the ashes after the first couple of fires, I realized that I had made a great circle of soot that I had to step through to tend any fire I had burning.

The ring you see above is our second attempt. It’s smaller, and it’s made with those formed blocks that my good friend Todd gave me when he cleaned out his garden shed previous to moving to some place he calls Nevada. (Really, what’s with these wacky-sounding place names? It’s not like anyone believes they actually exist!) I had high hopes for this fire ring. I was inspired by a ring I saw at a Scout camp several years ago. The wall around the fire was more than three feet tall. It had been built up over the decades as the ash accumulated. I loved the idea of the continuity, of the perhaps thousands of fires the people gathered around for fellowship and warmth.

The trouble is that the ground around this site slopes too much. You can’t put a table on it and expect anything to stay in place. Even chairs will tip you out of them if they’re not positioned exactly right. The ground is also uneven, with rocks and holes lurking in the leaves to twist your ankle.

The fire spot we have at our new camp is much smaller. In fact, it is small enuf to allow a steel cooking grate to span the fire. I find this much more manageable — a cooking fire doesn’t have to be all that big, and we’re so rarely at our woods after dark that we don’t have much need for a campfire site.

So this fire ring sits idle. The scrub is reconquering the area, and I expect we’ll never use it again. That’s fine though. Fire in the forest scares me too much for me to enjoy it.

There is a poll and a conversation going on about using your blog to earn money over at Nature Blog Network. I have a strong opinion about the matter, which you can read about if you go over there. Consider leaving your own thoughts too. They have to be more coherent than mine.

Missouri calendar:

  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day (observed)
  • Watch for mourning cloak and comma butterflies on warm days.


Posted by: Roundrockjournal    Source