Sunflowers, Southern Maine
August 20,2012, (beginning bloom around August 1)
These beauties were not planted deliberately. Nope. A bunch of them showed their beginning sprouts about early July 2012 (about one month before this shot) right under my bird feeder here in Southern Maine. They germinated from seed the squirrels and birds missed and scattered onto the ground. BTW, Blue Jays are great for throwing seed all over the place. So once I spotted the sprouting sunflower plants I became very careful not to mow them since then. Boy am I thankful for that. Yup, these flowers came right out of a sunflower bird seed bag. The brand matters not, i.e. to my knowledge, they all have seed that will sprout. The genetic process is built in, although I am sure Monsanto would have it otherwise if it could. Nature is so beautiful!
While painting my yellow house today (California paint’s "Spring Sunlight”) I spotted the beautiful translucent light through the yellow petals and grabbed my ever-ready camera to capture the brief light before going back to the painting. Love digital photography. Captured this image at about 5PM and it’s on the web just before 8PM.
Beginning of reverse chronology:
2014 UPDATE, June 23:
I noticed small sunflower plants coming up about a month ago (mid-late May) under this same bird feeder. These have to be coming from the "Meaties" brand because that is all I have used this year.
This year I have a resident woodchuck in the backyard. And it is somehow able to make it around to the front of the house, where this picture was taken....without being seen. The woodchuck has eaten some of the leaves but not enough to prevent the plant from continuing to grow. It has also done the same damage to some young sunflower plants on my side yard. None of the plants were completely eaten. Which leads me to believe that by not eating the entire plant, these woodchucks may be assuring that they will have a continuous source of the tasty sunflower plants. The woodchuck will be back. I will not kill the woodchuck. I have toiled with the thought of trapping and moving it, but I think I would rather it stays: I want to see how this thing pans out and along the way I can get some woodchuck images and learn more too. I'll update this when there is more information.
Also, I planted some tiny sunflowers that I started in small, biodegradable pots. If they make it, these will be Mammoth Sunflowers. So I am excited! They will be 8 feet and taller, with huge heads! I planted them adjacent to this same front yard feeder and as close to my front window as possible. This was done with the vision of photographing the gorgeous American Goldfinches as they hang onto the flower head and pluck the seeds out of the Disk Flowers.
Did you know that American Goldfinches are granivores? There are carnivores, herbivores, omnivores and now....granivores. Most plants are late with their seeds and that is why American Goldfinches are late nesters.
2013 UPDATE, August 12:
As I snooped around the site today, I just ran into this image again, about a year after I posted it. I am reminded again of this beautiful thing that is the sunflower! And the world is going to tell me that these beauties are not created?
As I have posted before elsewhere, I am a biologist who accepts most or all of the natural laws governing the "evolution" of these beautiful things. But I also know that no science discipline has yet tackled an explanation FOR THE ORIGIN OF THE PHYSICAL LAWS THAT DICTATE AND CONTROL THE EVOLUTION OF THESE BEAUTIFUL THINGS. And no scientist will tackle an explanation of this because no scientist is capable of it.