A hunk of burnin’ love

I’m just a hunk, a hunk of burnin’ love. oooooh!

Elvis Presley


No one is an artist unless he carries his picture in his head before painting it, and is sure of his method and composition.

Claude Monet


Most people are uninformed.  Marc G. Pastorek


Pastorek Habitats Seed Farm receives the gift of nurturing, natural fire, Monday, February 20, 2017, Carriere, Mississippi, Pearl River County


boring landscape? I think not.


a few bubbly Baptisias, the Cajuns call them Poc-poc plants


hidden in the fluff are thousands upon thousands of emerging Prairie Parsley plants


Muhlenbergia expansa wading into Bluestem grass


and a white-lavendar seedling of Prairie Phlox


about 1:00, after getting protective north and west black lines in place, above


about 3:00, working on east black line


picturesque flames


testing head winds


backing fire working under Long Leaf pines where pine needles are concentrated, where fire intensity is greatest


about 7:00, wind whipped head fire





Tuesday, at 07:00 a.m.





Its like icing on a cake.


City of Covington’s Blue Swamp Creek Park Nature Trails burn – St. Tammany Parish, La

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We completed the third controlled burn in a week at BSC Nature Trail yesterday, a total of about three acres of restored remnant Pine prairie natural area. Thanks to Landscape Architect and the Director of Keep Covington Beautiful, Priscilla Floca, and to the Mayor of Covington, Mike Cooper, for taking the idea of a natural area landscape and running with it, for the good of the community, for sure. Yay!



12 acres of Cajun Prairie Restoration Project site, Eunice, La., St Landry Parish, Sunday, February 19, 2017 – The central Gulf coast’s original and most significant prairie habitat preservation and conservation project receives the gift flames


above, A field of weeds. Good weeds.


good lookin’ fuel load



where there’s smoke, there’s probably fire


Steve, showing off his martial arts skills.


Jacalyn Duncan, making the Earth feel better.


Thanks to Cajun Prairie Society members Jackie Duncan, Margaret Frey, Dr. Malcolm Vidrine, Jacob Delahoussey, Steve Nevett, Tommy Hillman, Chris Naquin for their help and leadership!


City of Mandeville Prairie Conservation Garden burn, St. Tammany Parish, La


The truly amazing prairie garden that some genius planted at the corner of Highway 190 and Causeway Approach Rd, got its much needed shot-in-the-arm burn yesterday. Thanks to John Broderick, who helped me do the deed.

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Thanks to Adam Perkins of Dufreche-Perkins Landscape Architecture for conceiving the idea of prairie on Mandeville’s Main Street. Thanks to Mayor Donald Villere, Louisette Scott, Catherine Casanova of the City of Mandeville for being so open to new and good gardening ideas. Thanks especially to Charles M. Allen and Malcolm F. Vidrine, who researched and developed the idea of prairie gardens in Louisiana some 30 years ago and through that work, gave me the tools to do wild and crazy garden stuff.


Terese’s Abita Springs remnant garden, St. Tammany Parish

Terese, who lives in Abita, called a couple of years ago, with an interest in developing a design for a prairie garden. I told her to “let the lawn grow and lets see whats there”. So she did and as it turns out, what she had been mowing for several years was a full blown high quality Pine flatwoods prairie remnant, chocked full of wonderful prairie plant species including many Long Leaf Milkweed plants. She has been mowing only the walking paths for a year now. She reduced her mowing by 90%, and in return, has received 90% more enjoyment.


Folks! Garden scruffiness rules!


above, Most people could not appreciate the value of this garden’s shagginess. Most people are uninformed.

Terese’s not-so-boring garden is defined by walking paths that she has designed and has mowed, leaving four different odd shaped gardens. Fire is what is needed to invigorate the plants in her garden, that were so determined to live even under the sweeping blade of a lawn mower.





Even the paths of Terese’s garden are gardens themselves. Lots of Sun Bonnets were in bloom, above, below




The first blooms are beginning, of large populations of Erigeron vernus, Early White Topped Fleabane,


many, many fleabanes


distinctive rosette of Lobelia puberula


last year’s spent flower head of Bigelowia


above, summer images before she started mowing, when we found so many Milkweeds


Speaking of Fleabanes and Butterweeds, take a gander at Highway 190, near Port Allen, Louisiana in West Baton Rouge Parish – on may way to Eunice Sunday.

this sort of shenanegans goes on for many miles, at least all the way to Eunice, St. Landry Parish, La. The white in the photo is Erigeron philadelphicus, Philadelphia Fleabane, a beautiful annual plant that fills the highways with color each spring.


Later in May, Erigeron strigosus, Prairie Fleabane, colors the roadsides on I-20 Near Forest Mississippi, Scott County. Some Fleabanes have great potential for roadside plantings


DISCLAIMER!!! People, don’t be foolish and try to burn land without someone with some serious knowledge of this science. That would be really dumb. Fire is really dangerous and can easily get away from you. Great harm can be done to property and most especially, harm can be done to humans. This is not something to take lightly. Be cool. Don’t be a fool! Fire management is an art and a useful tool but use it carefully and under the close supervision of someone who has some experience doing it.


Charles Allen Botanical Karate workshops – Edible Natives (and others)






4 thoughts on “A hunk of burnin’ love

  1. Hello, this is so amazing! Way to go with all the prairie restorations! I live in the Nashville, Tennessee area, and I’ve been wanting to learn how to perform prescribed burns. Any advice on how to do that, please? Thank you!

    • working on a post now, titled “how to burn five acres of highly flammable native grass safely”. coming soon! in the meantime, talk to my friends Mike Berkley and Terri Barns at Growild Nursery if youre in Nashville, they may know a burn specialist who you can work with as a volunteer for or just observe/ talk with, to learn concepts and strategies for burning your prairie. good luck and thanks! Or call me. Marc

      • Thank you, Marc, for both of your helpful suggestions. I do know both Mike and Terri, and I saw them this past week. She said that the forestry service comes to burn their land for them, which they do every three years or so. I’m still exploring the link you provided, but I will be looking forward to your new post about prescribed burns. If I cannot find what I need, then I just might call you! Thank you again!!!

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