I just come inside from an evening by the fire with some thoughts.
I have my own ideas about the best way to load a fire.
It involves small wood blocks of hardwood, layers of charcoal from previous fires I save, squaw wood I collect, select combinations of soft and hardwood in small sizes all in layers.
Real coal too, I like to put in handfuls of real coal ( likely from the USA where they mined in decades ago, my supplies are very very old saved from places you would expect to find coal like railway beds and bunkers near closed industrial facilities )
It takes a while to ignite…
I like a mix of saw dust with some Kerosene ( petroleum is a guilty pleasure ) and bituminous coal fines all rolled up in paper.
I wait and fan the flames until the tipping point comes and all that fuel starts to burn.
Drink my beer smell the firer and try not to listen to my wife ( she talks too much about nothing ).
I think of the steel works, smelter, foundry…
You can make a real nice fire with the materials at hand if you dig around.
A nice fire that burns hours without the need of additional fuel.
I like to watch the flame colour change from yellow to blue as the coal bed gets hotter and the VOC and sulpher burn off.
Then you get the kind of fire that burns the hair off your legs as the temperatures rise.
I use an wash machine drum and the side start to glow dull orange…
After a while all the impurities are gone and you are left with nothing but carbon and fly ash.
Fuel runs low and temperatures drop.
I put the fire out with some snow and cover.
Residual sulpher smells come back as the flame die.
I think of all those places that made all those smells and I remember what it was like when I did that job or this always with fire a its heart.