While folks in the northern hemisphere collect leaves and other rubbish accumulated over the summer, bonfires are banned here in western Australia except for the winter months.
This year the surrounding countryside is showing the strain of an extremely dry June with the prospect of July following in June's footsteps I decided to take the window of opportunity and have a bonfire. This is not the first of the winter, but this is the product of all my own hard work. We are surrounded by gum trees that drop leaves all the year round. Dry crinkly wizened gum leaves are not attractive in winter, and in summer can be a danger if a bushfire should creep close [heaven forbid!] Over the last few days I have raked, wheelbarrowed and tossed onto an ever increasing sized bonfire all those leaves, along with twigs and pieces of bark that had fallen.
I didn't keep count of the number of wheelbarrow loads, but it must have surpassed 18, which in anyone's language [apart from a forester] shows on the arm muscles that are slowly returning. Whew! I am not as fit as I used to be!
Earlier when the wind was a mere zephyr I pushed sheets of newspaper into the heap of leaves, twigs and bark, and using the gas fire-lighter set the whole alight. The flames danced with wispy smoke drifting into the sky. I hasten to add I did use the watering can to spray the perimeter. Even though the grass, such as it is, was green I could not risk the fire escaping from it's ashy setting.
Oh, dash ... I forgot to put some potatoes in ... the embers would make a wonderful cooking facility!