Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Prairie Grass Fire

I'm going to interrupt my description of the Family Living Center to tell you about a really cool activity/tradition that happens every spring here in Nauvoo. 

When we first came last May, we were shown how the Saints were assigned land.  The blocks were laid out in 4 acre plots and then divided into 1 acre for each family.  One of these blocks is left kind of like a park - no houses, just trees and grass.  One quarter is not mowed all year - it's allowed to grow to show how big the 1 acre plots are.  This is what it looked like when we first got here.  (in the background)

Through the summer it grew and grew until it was taller than Elder Knudsen.
Then the drought came and dried everything up.  So this is what it looked like on April 1, 2013. 
The prairie grass is burned in early spring of each year to show the danger prairie fires were to the pioneers.  Prairie fires can burn up to 70 mph and can be very dangerous but the fires help prepare the land for a new growth of grass.
 As soon as everyone completed their site shifts at 5:00 p.m. we gathered at a house across the street for a hot dog roast.
Then, when it was time to burn, it only took 3 - 5 minutes to go from this . . . 


To this . . .


We were protected by our local fire department,
but I can only imagine how frightening a prairie fire must have been to the pioneers.

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