Field of Science

Fall weather in Lincolnland

Ah, fall comes to colorful Lincolnland! The beautiful browns of soybeans and maize ready to harvest, the gray overcast skies, the rain drops on your windows and head, drab yellows of senescing leaves, and maybe the worst October weather ever! The first two weeks of October have some of the most reliably good weather here in Lincolnland. This information came from Peter Raven, Director of the Missouri Botanical Garden, who had his staff conduct a survey of over 150 years of weather records. Peter used this data to schedule the Garden's annual systematic symposium because it also coincided with a time period when the gardens look very good. Oh, but this year the weather gods are getting even by teaching us about the law of averages. And of course, while all of the Phactor's students know that "it never rains on a field trip", it can often rain on your field research. So we are struggling to collect the specimens used for the data of an experimental prairie research project, and the only thing it hasn't done so far is snow. Hmm, yes, we got snowed on last year, but that was way into November, and the student, whose research project required this late season foray into the field, dutifully noted, "well, it didn't rain". So well put.

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