At the end of week 19, the ear husks had dried completely aided by temperatures producing about 7% more growing degree days than normal, and despite about an inch of rain. Conveniently, the husks peeled back to reveal an earful of beautiful kernels. The stalks and leaves were still mostly green, but progressively drier each week.
The week leading up to September 11 brought almost 3 inches of rain over four days and 28% more growing degree days than average. It was hard to spot any differences in the kernels, but the stalks and leaves continued to show further drying.
Several of the neighbors had harvested already by September 18, while the field behind our house seemed to accelerate in its rate of drying. More temperatures above normal probably helped the drying, while occasional thunderstorms made the fields too wet to harvest every day.
On September 22, Farmer Wagenbach started attacking the field with the combine in the late afternoon, and kept harvesting until well after dark. Consequently, we couldn't get a shot of the fully harvested field in the daylight until the next day, hence the next photo taken on the afternoon of the 23rd.
Finally, a somewhat artsy shot of the combine and grain wagon working their way west after sunset. We haven't heard the yield numbers yet, but the vast majority of the field looked pretty good, so I'd be surprised if the yield wasn't at least satisfactory. The stalks and leaves left in the field have since been baled and hauled away, but the field has not been tilled yet to prepare it for winter. Next spring seems a long way off, but we'll be ready again then to watch the wonder of plant growth in our backyard.