Maintaining the woods and fields to achieve and maintain openness and depth of vision requires gathering of a lot of wood.  If fallen trees and limbs are allowed to accumulate, both movement and the ability to mow and the removal thick banks of tall weeds becomes difficult and slow.  Franklin Chthonics is always building a great bonfire throughout the year at the same site, as well as smaller piles of slash and dead wood nearer the sources of their collection.  The word “awesome” has been weakened by overuse, but this is the correct term to describe many of these fires.  Large, intense fires are a different beast from campfires or fireplace fires.  Often, at their height, their heat makes it impossible to remain within 150 feet of them for more than moments, and stands of nearby woods become flooded with light.  Making bonfires is probably the activity most representative of the Chthonics program: it is a very ancient human experience and there is no place to connect with it in city living.  Our big annual fire is usually a part of the summer games, and our “Festival of Fire”, which involves making many smaller, simultaneous fires, is scheduled for late spring.

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