This was sent to me through the post today, an image from the lightning-caused fire outside of Dora, a raging fire with a thunderhead nearby that may have thrown off more lightning:
If I understood the report correctly, St. Louis has broken the 1980 drought record for days with continuous temperatures above 103. The canopy throughout the Ozarks is browning out.
I've given up on my woodland sampling plots in much of the Ozarks. Tonight I'm trying to figure out mathematically how I can average this year's data with next year's data with a standard deviation to account for the incredible drought. Normally, warm spring rains follow prescribed fire season, spurring woodland flora to flourish, to spring anew. This summer, visiting some of the sites that burned last fire season has been reminiscent of visiting a radiation site where nothing grows but farkleberry from stump sprouts, and only meager sprouts. The Desmodiums are toast, and a lot of the sedges never flowered, so I'm stuck with dried sterile sedges. Oh, some of the sedges are easy (complanata, muhlenbergii, albicans, albursina, the easy ones) but in a woodland with such rich sedge diversity, I want to key them correctly and it's challenging to do so without flowering stalks and fruit. It's challenging for me, anyway.
Like the rest of the state, I'm hoping for rain soon.