There is something mesmerizing about watching the controlled prairie burns in the Spring here in Illinois. As the March sun gets higher in the sky, and the grasses start to dry, the local folks of the Campton Township Open Space team starts scheduling the burns around the local area.
I happened to catch the burn at Corron Farm last March, and loved watching the ebb and flow of the fire line as it traversed across the prairie. When it moved to the sparse grasses, the fire was subdued, but as it hit the thick grasses, the flames really exploded and would extend twenty to thirty feet into the air. With the smoke and ashes, it made for an abstract, surreal scene at times, as the featured blog image shows.
When I see a prairie burn, I’m reminded of something I once read about Black Hawk, the Sauk war chief, who was asked toward the end of his life what the most significant or interesting thing he has seen in his life, and he replied that it was the Illinois prairie burning at night. Can only imagine what that must have been like to experience.