Last night as we sat on the deck and ate fresh wraps for dinner (delicious=mayo+pesto+just picked tomatoes+cucumbers+lettuce still warm from the sun+arugula+Shelburne Farms smoked cheddar) I looked up and reacted to what I saw with “Holy smoke!” What I saw was a big cloud of smoke. We all turned and looked at it together and wondered, What’s that all about?
It smelled like burning wood and the smoke was white. A house fire means black smoke and nasty smells, not to mention lots of sirens, and vehicles zooming about. So I figured it was some big brush pile or a bonfire. But it kept burning. Long after dark it glowed, and the sound of back up beeps chorused with the crickets and cicadas. Even when I woke in the wee hours the smell of smoke drifted through the house. It was still going.
This morning we could still smell it. When I drove up over O’Neil Road this morning I could look down and see the white plume. I was gone all day but when I returned it was still smoking. So what the hell? It was clearly not out of control but who could be burning something this long? And why?
My wife went for a run on a route that would take her past the mysterious smoldering. When she returned her report was this: It was a huge pile of hay, smoking away. It may have caught fire spontaneously in the sun. It may have been triggered accidentally. In any case, the pile was big and the smoldering was going to continue.
It still makes everything smell smoky. The sky, before the sun set, was dimmed where the smoke drifted. And it keeps on. It seems to be contained. I hope it is. It seems a loss of good hay and hopefully that is all that is lost. Smoke in the air did provide an aura of autumn for a while. Now, however, it is starting to seem plain old stinky. We are on track for some showers tomorrow. Maybe that will muffle the fire. Just in time for the really chilly nights.