brush fire

3.4.12 ~ Groton, Connecticut
Poquonnock River Walkway ~ 3.4.12 ~ Groton, Connecticut

Last weekend we took a short walk on the Poquonnock River Walkway because we had heard on the news that there had been a brush fire. Fortunately the fire broke out behind the Poquonnock Bridge Firehouse, but it ignited several patches of brush along the walkway before the firemen got the flames under control. Everything is so wet there it is hard to imagine how the fire might have started.

3.4.12 ~ Groton, Connecticut
3.4.12 ~ Groton, Connecticut

There were many birds busy in the reeds and trees lining the walkway.

3.4.12 ~ Groton, Connecticut
3.4.12 ~ Groton, Connecticut

It’s disheartening to see all the illegally discarded garbage exposed by the fire. Wish I knew why some people cannot make the effort to dispose of their waste materials properly at the “transfer station.”  When I was little we called it a “dump” and we took to heart all the public service ads on TV encouraging us not to be litter bugs!

3.4.12 ~ Groton, Connecticut
3.4.12 ~ Groton, Connecticut

For my sister and me Saturday trips to the dump were fun! Perhaps once or twice a month Dad would load up the back of his pick-up truck with our family’s trash. Beverly and I would then climb into the cab and snuggle up to our papa as closely as we could. This was back before the days of seat belts. The reason we held on tight was that the passenger door would sometimes swing open when the truck turned a corner. (The problem was eventually repaired.) What a thrilling adventure! And the chance to feel the strong arms of our father holding us securely, the chance to feel like precious cargo!

3.4.12 ~ Groton, Connecticut
3.4.12 ~ Groton, Connecticut

On the way home from the dump we got to ride in the back of the pick-up truck! We begged and pleaded and were sometimes rewarded with a side trip up and back down Route 320, a road with many wonderfully smooth bumps – riding over them would make us feel like we left our stomachs on the truck while our bodies were lifted into the air by some mysterious force for a fraction of a moment. These days I’m sure Dad would be arrested for endangering minors, but for me these were the spicy experiences of my young life!

The whispers of shared ecstasy are choral.
~ George Steiner
(Grammars of Creation)

20 thoughts on “brush fire”

  1. There are some beautiful pictures here – the brush fire spots will be beautiful again soon, I imagine. I have fond memories of trips to the dump, too! Funny, isn’t it? Our trips were in an old station wagon and it was so exciting to go through the big gates and see trash mountains piled up so high. (My mom would be less than pleased to hear me say that!)

    1. It is strange how such ordinary activities remembered can make us feel so nostalgic for childhood adventures… It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one who thought trips to the dump were exciting! I should try and go back and get pictures of the vegetation growing back.

  2. Hi,
    It is heart breaking to see the damage a fire can do, and I always wonder if the animals got out safely.
    I also loved trips to the dump when I was a kid, it was always an adventure.

    1. I’m sure all the birds got away safely but I also wonder about the animals on legs escaping. We did see the entrance to a burrow exposed – I hope whoever was inside managed to escape and wasn’t overcome by smoke inhalation. Now that the burrow’s doorway is out in the open the creature probably won’t be safe living there any more. It will have to dig a new home very quickly.

    1. You’re welcome, Laurie. I think I will get another take on the first photo when the leaves come out on the tree!

  3. My parents always made a regular trip to the dump on Sunday mornings and once this fact was know it was jokingly referred to as their “romantic trip”!

    I think you would be surprised at how resilient some animals are during and after a bush fire. When I was only about ten years old we were evacuated from our home during a bushfire in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales. My mum couldn’t find our cat, yet when we returned home the next day after the fires were put out, our cat returned also, along with the wildlife!

    1. I bet your parents looked forward to their time alone together each week, Joanne! 🙂 Now that I’m grown up I wonder what my mom did with her time alone while my dad took us to the dump. Never pondered that as a child…

      Perhaps animals have more of an instinctive sense than we do about what to do when there is a fire emergency. I’m glad your cat survived – it must have had a huge welcome home from its worried family!

  4. I like the walkway as shown in the first picture. The land seems to be caught up badly by the fire. Barren piece. It sad really to see the places devastated when once you’ve seen them beautiful & you still have those in your memories.

    1. It is sad the damage a fire causes in a natural area, but I’m sure Mother Earth can heal here. It will be interesting watching the process. Perhaps this will encourage some litter bugs to stop throwing their trash into the brush along the river, too.

  5. Hi Barbara. I want to go for a walk on that boardwalk! This summer, we are implementing the ‘Walk of the Week’, and I have a list underway of walks we will go on. Boardwalks are so easy to walk on and they help control our free-roaming. Jane

    1. I love boardwalks, too! I still remember the thrill of walking on them in the Everglades in Florida when I was a child. There’s one along the beach about a half hour drive from here I hope to take pictures of soon – after these March winds disappear so we won’t freeze to death or get blown away!

  6. What a nice natural place to walk- and it IS irritating to see trash where it has no business being. Is it that hard to throw things away properly?

    It’s funny to think of all the things we once did that would have people worrying about now. I spent a childhood riding bikes without helmets, and we had a set of lawn darts that we played with. It never occurred to us that these were unacceptable risks.

    1. You’d think people would learn to love the beauty of nature enough to want to preserve it instead of trashing it. We have a few senior citizens in our area who take walks with trash bags trying to keep their neighborhoods clean. I admire them…

      Same here, I never wore a bike helmet or knee pads when I was a child. We were admonished to use common sense in all our activities, one of the blessings of an unstructured childhood. 🙂 Accidents were considered a fact of life, and there weren’t too many of them…

  7. What lovely memories and how sweetly and visually you have shared them here. Also so interesting about brush fires…nature is amazing how it deals with such things…how it grows anew!

    This line was especially poignant: ‘the chance to feel the strong arms of our father holding us securely, the chance to feel like precious cargo!’

    Thank you for sharing!

    1. Thank you, Diane! Nature sure is amazing and full of renewal and mystery… As are fathers – we did feel like precious cargo – I wonder if fathers can ever really know just how much their simple gestures mean to their children, and for how long their children will carry the memory of them in their hearts…

  8. I too cannot understand why people throw trash without caring that they’re littering. Wherever one goes there’s someone’s nasty trash!

    Love your memory of going to the dump with your Dad and the car door would open..imagine if that happened now. Your dad would be charged with child cruelty or something like that.

    1. We do seem to have a litterbug epidemic in this country, in spite of all the public service ads trying to educate people and wake them up. It can get very discouraging. The words reckless endangerment come to mind about driving with a door malfunction. I’ll bet Dad fixed the door himself – when he got around to it – I’m not even sure if they had product recalls in the 1960s!

Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

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