Here are some recent photos:
Some clumps started to lodge (fall over) after a particularly windy day so I used some bamboo poles to keep them from falling over completely.
It seems like they're ripening faster this year. Was it hotter? Drier? Or contrary to conventional wisdom, direct seeded rice grows faster than earlier-started and transplanted rice?
Unfortunately, this year -- most likely again, due to drought and lack of other wild food sources -- chipmunk has discovered my rice bed. It thinks I put the bamboo there for it to sit on
I put my two indoor kitties in the fenced area enclosing the rice bed and the tomato bed (the chipmunk got into some lovely ripe tomatoes as well
They had grand old time chasing the chipmunk a couple of times out of the enclosure and once up the tomato/luffa/gourd/bean trellis, in addition to thoroughly exploring the area and leaving their scents (I really had no concern that they would catch the little beast
). I had hoped that the kitties had impressed upon the chipmunk that the area was off-limits, but later, when DD brought one of the kitties out again, she immediately jumped into the fenced area and chase the chipmunk out of the rice bed.
So even though some of the rice is still in milk stage towards the bottom of the sheafs (is that what they're called? seed heads...) and the foliage and stems are still green, I decided to harvest 2/3 of the bed. I discovered that there were some stalks already severed from the plant. I'm not sure if that happened while the kitties were thrashing through the rice or if the pesky chipmunk is actually clever enough to cut the stalks and pull the seedheads down.
I'm behind in camera uploads so I'll post those photos later.
Although 1/2 way convinced that I'm merely feeding the chipmunk, I scattered some rye seeds, spread some compost, and scattered rice straw left over and saved from last year in the harvested area, and scattered some additional rye seeds and compost under the remaining rice.