Burning the Snake Pit Pergola

In Projects and Renovations by Laura CrossleyLeave a Comment

Everyone once in a while, we have a project on the farm that breaks my heart a little. For the most part, everything that we do is additive to what exists here. However, in the case of the pergola next to the pond – we had to get a little destructive.

I can’t help but imagine that, at some point, the pergola was a labor of love. It probably added this beautiful little sitting spot next to the pond. Someone probably loved going down to sit in the shade and enjoy the afternoon sipping tea and reading magazines in the fresh air.

It was, in fact, a beautiful little spot. The pergola itself, however, had overgrown into the most terrifying and unsafe harbor of snakes and critters.

Through the summertime, it turns into an enormous green shrub monster that could not be tamed. It was far from see-through – which was even scarier as we couldn’t see if kids were ever near the water on the opposite side of it. Add in that it had grown into a pretty frustrating eyesore – and it was simply time to say “goodbye.”

So, this weekend, we did it.

“Hey, let’s go burn down that damn pergola,” casually mentioned this morning resulted in the full thing burned down to the ground by late afternoon.

To get us all out of the house on another cold day, I loaded the kids into my Jeep with the heaters on. This gave us a cozy little spot to pop in and out to warm up hands and fingers when it got a little to cold to bear.

While we cruised the backyard for sticks and limbs to add to the pile, Aaron got the fire going.

The initial process of starting the fire seemed straightforward enough. We do this all the time, right? However – despite being built of plenty of kindling – the dormant brush that wrapped around the pergola was too thin to really catch. It would burn, smolder and go out in no time at all – leaving most of the structure standing.

Aaron grabbed the chainsaw and started cutting the supports and trunks of the bushes at the ground level. Then, we used a rake to push it over and fold it all into itself. With the brush and logs piled together, he worked to ignite it again. This time – it roared.

The whole thing smoldered until late into the evening. While it took a little longer than expected, the end result is a very welcomed view of the entire pond from just atop the hill. This summer – we’ll work on adding a new fire pit and area to hang out with friends – free from the chaos of the crazy shrubs and snake haven.