Friday, August 19, 2011
The recent rains saved the dolomite glades of the Western Ozarks from complete dessication. Several weeks ago, I had the great pleasure of sampling dried vegetation on a glade in 104 degree weather at high noon; even the stalwart glade-obligate Rudbeckia missouriensis was shriveling to nothingness, certainly not thinking of flowering. This week, following several rain events in late July and early August, the Rudbeckia is a showstopper on the glades, along with prairie dock and the first few flowers of the short, bright purple Liatris cylindracea. Liatris aspera (ice cream plant for deer) is tall these days, but the flowers aren't open yet. The season begins for brilliant bloom cycles on dolomite glades; even the diminuitive Heliotropium tenellum sent out a second round of blooms (thanks to all the rain).
As we move towards late August, thoughts turn towards glade burning. If the thatch layer is thick enough, late August-early September is prime time for burning off glades. The woods won't burn these days with all the moisture and average 50% rh everyday. No burn lines are needed for growing season burns on glades. The fire magically goes out at the edge of the woods...
Posted by Allison Vaughn at 9:04 PM