The March heatwave that the midwest has been suffering has been so long and hot that the water is already warm. I went on a 15 mile run at Fox Island, and 12 miles in decided to see how warm Bowman Lake was. I’d heard that the surface of the water was warm, so I waded in. I was expecting cold but tolerable water, but it was actually reasonably warm. I ended up walking out into water up to my chin and swimming a bit before finishing my run.

It’s usually another six weeks before the lake is as warm as it is now. With the lack of winter this year, and the extended heat wave, this shouldn’t be too surprising, but it still is. This heat wave is even so hot that some places have experienced lows above their record highs.

The unseasonably warm and dry weather did create excellent conditions for a 40 acre prescribed burn at Fox Island. This year we were able to do the best burn of the oak tree field—a prairie area with lots of invasive honeysuckle—that I have ever seen. And with rain just a couple hours after the burn finished, we didn’t have to worry about any embers lighting the unburned area.