Prairie Fire!

We drove north to Crumbacher Wildlife Area in Buchanan County last night to attend a controlled prairie burn.  The burn was ignited at dusk, just after 7PM, & took almost two hours to burn.  Prior to the burn, air temperature was around 41’F, relative humidity was 61.2%, and the highest recorded wind gust came in at 6mph.  Ranger Mike Van Raden told the assembled group (which included our family, a local reporter, Buchanan County Naturalist Sondra Cabell, Executive Director Dan Cohen, 2 park techs & 1 other ranger) the weather conditions were on the parameters of what he’d like for a burn, but doable.  Why so few people attended this AMAZING event, I have no clue…Iowa is not boring, people!  You just have to seek out the opportunities!  Anyway, off my soapbox.IMG_3378[1]Burn began in the back (south edge) of this reconstructed prairie which is to the east of the wetland pond.

ⒸCoralee Bodeker: Crumbacher Prairie

ⒸCoralee Bodeker: Crumbacher Prairie; wetland pond at dusk


ⒸCoralee Bodeker: Crumbacher Prairie

ⒸCoralee Bodeker: Crumbacher Prairie; fire started slower than expected


ⒸCoralee Bodeker: Crumbacher Prairie

ⒸCoralee Bodeker: Crumbacher Prairie; Coralee & Merritt’s view from down in the prairie about to be burned

IMG_3396[1]June was not impressed.  Harmon was not, either, & kept moaning/fussing in the carrier.  June collected a bunch of sticks & old seed pods which are still in the back of the Suburban.  Shortly after I took this photo & the next one, June, Harmon, & I hiked back to the Suburban.  June said the fire looked like lava & that she “knows what lava looks like because I watch Wild Kratts.”  She yelled at me that lava is scary; however, she clearly was not scared.  I think she was just plain old COLD.  IMG_3397[1]I accidentally had my HDR on when I took these photos–makes it more dramatic, I guess.  If you are on a laptop or PC, click on this photo–it’s way better viewed in a larger size.IMG_3398[1]Hangin’ in the ‘burb.  Wishin’ I was at the burn!  Thankfully, I could still see it from where we parked, but it wasn’t the same as being “right there” like Brian & the older kids experienced.  #fifthtrimester #preschooler

ⒸCoralee Bodeker: Crumbacher Prairie

ⒸCoralee Bodeker: Crumbacher Prairie; fire getting going now!


ⒸCoralee Bodeker: Crumbacher Prairie; using a drip torch

ⒸCoralee Bodeker: Crumbacher Prairie; using a drip torch


ⒸCoralee Bodeker: Crumbacher Prairie, Merritt Bodeker & Ranger Mike Van Raden

ⒸCoralee Bodeker: Crumbacher Prairie; Merritt Bodeker & Ranger Mike Van Raden, hanging out, just feeling’ the BURN


ⒸCoralee Bodeker: Crumbacher Prairie fire

ⒸCoralee Bodeker: Crumbacher Prairie fire


ⒸCoralee Bodeker: Crumbacher Prairie fire

ⒸCoralee Bodeker: Crumbacher Prairie fire; kids were able to be right up next to the fire line–so cool!


ⒸCoralee Bodeker: Crumbacher Prairie fire

ⒸCoralee Bodeker: Crumbacher Prairie fire


ⒸCoralee Bodeker: Crumbacher Prairie; Sondra Cabell (Naturalist) & local newspaper reporter

ⒸCoralee Bodeker: Crumbacher Prairie; local reporter & Sondra Cabell (sidenote–Merritt keeps telling us he’s going to be “famous” because the reporter took his photo, ha!)


ⒸCoralee Bodeker: Crumbacher Prairie

ⒸCoralee Bodeker: Crumbacher Prairie


ⒸCoralee Bodeker: Crumbacher Prairie: Sondra Cabell & Dan Cohen (Exec. Dir.)

ⒸCoralee Bodeker: Crumbacher Prairie; Sondra Cabell & Dan Cohen

IMG_3391[1]A natural masterpiece.  High five, Nature!

Cars out on the road were slowing down & parking once the fire really took off & darkness descended.  It was like lining up for Christmas lights, only a million times better.  #takebacktheprairies

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