Winter Wheat Update- May 17

Planted last fall, and dormant over the winter, the wheat is now putting out its seed heads, or spikes.

Producing seed for the next generation is the last task of this plant.

Once the seed heads are fully formed, and plants will begin to die and turn a golden yellow.  The bumps, or florets, you see on the wheat head, contain the seeds, neatly packaged and protected from the elements, and wildlife. The long spiky projections coming out of the seed head, called awns, deter wildlife from eating the seed.

Wheat is one of my favorite things to photograph. I love the symmetry of the wheat head,

the pale green color,

its changing color as the last sunrays of the day illuminate it,  

and its silhouette at sunset.

Later, when the field has turned golden yellow in the sun, I’ll take pics of it at sunset, or sunrise. The wind over a wheat field stirs the heads and creates a wavelike action that is fun to watch, and photograph.  When it is completely dried down, usually in late June, it will be ready for harvest. But that is a ways off, and right now we can just enjoy the sight of wheat heads popping up over the field.