Sunday, September 09, 2012

After the Rain

Fall wildflower season is well underway after the recent spate of rain rehydrated the landscape. The desiccated 100+ degree days which seemed devoid of all natural life may be behind us this fall. During the drought, large populations of Gaura biennis exploded in blooms along long stretches of highway in certain parts of the Ozarks, while other flora (Desmodiums in particular) waited for the rain before they flowered. I don't recall seeing as much Gaura in years past, and I wonder if the lack of mowing on the roadsides this summer accounted for their persistence this year.

Nevertheless, Asters and goldenrods, Boltonia and Bidens, Desmodiums and Spiranthes, they've all perked up since the rains last week. I haven't seen as many box turtles in the woods since spring as I did this week, either. The natural world that virtually went dormant during the drought (barring a handful of species that didn't bat an eye to the three months without rain, especially glade species) is active again, just in time for float season.


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