Sunday, October 23, 2011
John is threatening to burn pear for his cattle again. We all tell him the work is too hard and hot and he can't do it any longer but he is determined. Burning pear is burning the stickers off cactus for the cattle to have something green to eat after the frost comes and there is no longer any green grass. Cows love it and learn the loud sound of the pear burner. See the tank sitting on the ground? It has propane in it with a long pipe attached which you light with fire and then you can adjust the flame to go stronger or lighter. He usually carries the tank on his back by a strap and has to put a piece of carpet between the tank and his body because the tank gets very cold and could burn your body. He is going to try to get his son to help him move the large propane tank to the ranch to be ready for about December. He will probably burn two tanks a day and transfers the propane from the large tank to the small one each time. It can be a dangerous job if it is dry but they cannot stop people from feeding their cattle and making their livlyhood like they can ban burning trash. One year I went with him each morning and we got up before daylight to beat the sun. My job was to let him off on one side of the cactus patch and then drive around to pick him up on the other side so he could get rid of the heavy tank into the truck. It is kind of a beautiful sight when it is still dark and all the little stickers are lit up. Kind of reminds you of Christmas. I probably won't be going with him much this time as a few years ago I had an abnormal chest exray and was sent to a Pulmonary doctor. He told me not to inhale that smoke anymore and that John shouldn't either. He won't pass up that free food (cactus) for his cattle other then the cost of the propane of course. He says he may hire the grown renter kid to carry the tank so that would help. Another thing they have to be careful of is rattlesnakes as they often make their home in cactus plants but if you see them in time the pear burner is a good weapon to burn them in their tracks.