The border of Lewisburg’s community garden features a variety of sunflowers, and this blossom caught my eye back in early summer.
None of the sunflowers in this post grow in my small kitchen garden. Sunflowers used to grow there; my kids loved to plant them and marvel at how tall the plants became. Now those same much older children barely give the garden a thought unless they’re looking for their old man and he’s not in the house.
I’ve always enjoyed sunflowers – even grew them myself before I realized I’d never use them for cooking or snacking. I get a little thrill each spring when I identify which field on my way to the local Mennonite grocery store has sunflowers growing in it.
As soon as the large buds start to open, I include roadside photo sessions in my shopping trips. I’ve yet to capture the quintessential sunflower photo, but I enjoy trying.
While shooting sunflowers, I often muse about where these cheery plants will end up. Are they bound to birdseed packagers? Will they be snacks for humans? Are they next year’s seeds for sunflower farmers all over the US?
The notion that a sunflower turns to face the moving sun is silly — at least from what happens in my favorite sunflower field. Every year, these blossoms open facing the morning sun. They continue facing east (and a bit south) throughout each day and they finish the season with their petal-less heads drooping but still facing east.
The face of a sunflower changes over the course of several weeks. These are at a stage where, within the bowl of the large flower, each developing seed has its own tiny flower. At least for a while, that makes the face of the sunflower yellow.