Good Morning and Happy Sabbath to All!
We hope the Sabbath rest is a blessing to you and yours. Snowing and blowing here, but the wood stove is doing its job.
Lots of winter weather in Israel as well. It has been raining across the country on and off for a day or two and snowing in Hermon. Rain is forecast for parts of the country for the next 4 days and it is supposed to culminate Wednesday night in what could be the coldest night of the year in Jerusalem.
John was traveling through some of our favorite locations in the South yesterday and sent over some good pictures of his inspections. Here is a quote from him about the day:
"This morning it was quite cool 7 C (44F) on my car thermometer and raining on and off all day, sometimes quite heavy.. Walking through the fields, I was soaked to the skin. The WB (wild barley) is progressing from what I saw earlier in the week up farther north, now mostly flowering stage or past as it lightning up in color. I haven't seen any storks flying. Today the wind was so strong, it would be tough for any birds to fly in that."
A classic description of winter in the Land. Some of the area John was looking at is in the corridor between Besor and Re'im. This are is at only 63% of its normal rainfall to date. You can see the results of that in the "goat grass" barley locations. Some domestic (winter wheat) is also stunted and being forced to expedite the process to physiological maturity.
However there are some nice areas doing well with acceptable wild barley and domestic barley.
The area of the first photo is familiar to many here. It is winter wheat located at the top of the hill at Re'im. What is of note here is the wild barley growing amongst it in the good ground. Please zoom in and you will see young WB towering over the wheat and starting to enter the bowing cycle of its growth. This starts when in the flowering stage.
And yes, a picture is worth a thousand words if you have the experience to understand what it is showing you about the intricacies of characteristics common to the growth cycle.
Look at how nice and long the heads are. As the seeds start to form and fill out these heads will be bowing down and no doubt be touching the heads of the winter wheat. Good photo John.
The next photo is also very instructive. We have often showed you how many fields in this region are "mixed" with a number of grains. Here John has captured that himself in a picture. This is on Route 234.
Zoom in and you will see 2 row barley growing with its cousin the winter wheat. Once again notice the age of both. Some are still emerging from the boot.
Now notice the lighter color, and the stunted stocks. This is part of the area which has received only a little over half of its normal amount of rain year to date. This field will probably not come to a harvest ready condition but it was never intended to, it was planted to be cut for silage. That will happen shortly.
Once again we have another familiar area to many of you. This is at Re'im Junction. Once again note how the wild barley is lightening up in color. This young barley is for the most part in the head and flowering or in early milk development as John has pointed out. Keep in mind this area is usually the most advanced, the earliest, over the years. Once again do the simple math for it to be aviv, when it will be physiologically mature enough to reproduce itself.
The next 2 photos are from a location on 241 about 6 kilometers from 232. This is also in the area of suppressed rainfall this year. The soils here have very little stone content but they are primarily sandy in nature. If this location had have received its normal amount of rainfall the wild barley would be much taller and much greener.
The plants here will be forced to put what energy they have left into seed production in the center of the head. That will ensure several seeds will at least come to maturity and drop to the ground awaiting next years growth cycle. What that will mean is this location next year will not have so many plants in it. It may even look a little on the sparse side.
What you see currently is the evidence of a good balanced year last year that had developed the majority of the seeds in the heads so that they could reproduce themselves this year. That is what is the Biblical definition of Aviv. It is the condition of physiological maturity which enable the plants to reproduce their kind in the coming year.
For our last photo we have a classic of sorts. Notice the lone wild oat plant towering above most of the wheat. It is just starting to open its pouches to drop its seeds in a few days if the weather improves a bit but the forecast says no so it will probably be a week or so out. Remember that wild oats are usually 2-3 weeks ahead of the wild barley when in good ground.
Notice how this wild grain also flourishes in good ground.
We do not use anemic wild barley or anemic domestic barley to determine the timing of the year. There are ample locations of wild barley growing in good soil to make these simple determinations. And when you find the two barley sisters growing together it is something of a blessing to be instructed by.
Thank you John for your efforts. They are appreciated. Safe journey home.