Thursday, August 30, 2012

Beans in the backyard 2012, weeks 16 & 17

August 19

You may have noticed the grass slowly going dormant in the wide angle pictures over the last several weeks, although you should notice a gradual regrowth in the image above.  We were blessed with almost 3 inches of rain in two separate showers the week before August 19, so plenty of plants in the area are showing a revival as a result.  The majority of the rain came with stiff winds which caused many of the bean plants to lean more than they had before.  Otherwise, the development of the plants continues with the assistance of the rain.  Some of the plants in the field are beginning to show yellow leaves, but they are a distinct minority right now. This period of development appears to be about R5.5 or R6.

This closeup view shows large pods rapidly filling at the upper nodes.

August 26

The pictures taken this day could be the most lovely ones of the summer since it was raining while I was photographing.  Notice again how much greener the grass is after the 3 inches of rain the week before.  Although no rain fell between August 19 and 26, an all-day rain on the 26th totaled 3.2 inches in one day.  I believe the beans should be benefiting from the rain even in this later stage of development.  Yellow leaves are visible  in the photos today, although they are still in the minority across the field.  Because of the rain, I didn't examine the plants too closely so I'm not sure if any of the early trifoliolate leaves have fallen.  The reading I've done leads me to believe the development stage is probably R6 right now.

These plants still have a long way to go before harvest, but their progress is persistent and encouraging.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Now I REALLY feel old

Even though I don't remember much about the first few years of my life, I have no trouble identifying with the decade of my birth.  The preceding decades, however, have always seemed like ancient history.  As a young man, I remember being startled by the realization that more years had passed since my birth than had passed between the end of World War II and the day I was born.  In my mind, WWII happened a long time before I was born.  In reality, it wasn't very long.

My great grandparents, Samuel and Sophie Riggenbach
The other day I performed a little more mental math and startled myself once again.  I don't consider myself an old man (yet), but I'm older now than all of my aunts and uncles were when I was born.  Since my dad is the youngest of ten siblings, I had a lot of older aunts and uncles.  I'm now more further removed from my birth than my birth is removed from the FIRST World War!  I think it's impossible to marry that thought with any illusion of being young.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Beans in the backyard 2012, week 15

 August 12

The stalks appear to have topped out at 45 inches, or the same height they were last week.  No new trifoliolates this week either, which may be normal if the plant is directly most of its nutrients into adding mass to the seeds.  The seed development in the pods at the upper nodes is coming along nicely so I think we can confidently say the plant is at V19 and R5 stages.

This shot gives you a better view of the nice pod and seed development all along the stalk.  Our only rain this week was a 0.15" shower on Wednesday, but we're still thankful for any little bit that falls this summer.  Rain and moderate temperatures will help add seed mass at this stage, so we'll continue to seek God's mercy on behalf of Farmer Wagenbach's beans.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Beans in the backyard 2012, week 14

August 5

After 14 weeks of growing since they broke through the soil, the bean stalks have reached 45 inches tall and continue to add branches and pods.  I counted 19 fully emerged trifoliolates this morning, and was pleased to see long pods on the nodes of even the most recently emerged branches.  This stage of development is obviously V19 and what I would call R5 for the seed development.

Our only rain this week came early this morning and totaled 0.15 inches.  Despite the drought we've been experiencing, I'm encouraged by the number of pods that have survived and continue to develop on these plants.  Nonetheless, we'll continue to pray for rain for Farmer Wagenbach's beans and the other crops in the area.