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Posts Tagged ‘sunflowers’

Sunflowers in Winter

Sunflowers in bloom

A farmer’s field of sunflowers in bloom in 2015. This is one of three fields the farmer uses for sunflowers, planting only one field each year.

If you like to take photographs—and, I think, particularly if you think of yourself as a photographer—you might find it difficult simply to drive past a field of sunflowers. I’ve seen dozens of gorgeous photographs taken by other photographers of these magnificent fields. What’s more, I’ve stopped two or three times a year for, perhaps, seven years to try to capture the quintessential sunflower field photograph.

I haven’t gotten close. Turns out, I’m not all that skilled a photographer. Still, I’ve nabbed a few decent photos of sunflower fields, and I’ll continue to stop and shoot whenever the opportunity arises.

Just three days ago I had such an opportunity. Never mind it’s mid-winter in central Pennsylvania. I took a side road to the grocery store, turned onto a side road of the side road to photograph a stately oak tree in a farmer’s field, and unexpectedly came upon a field of sunflowers.

In the spirit of raising spirits (seems to be a thing this time of year), I decided to photograph the sunflowers and share them on my blog. Mid-winter sunflowers can be quite striking. I hope you agree. So nice that only six weeks remain until spring.

Sunflowers in winter

A field of sunflowers in winter isn’t particularly eye-catching. I was surprised to see the farmer hadn’t harvested the seed heads from this field; there were plenty there for song birds. I captured many photos and left longing just a bit more for spring.

Small Kitchen Garden – Sunflowers in Winter

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Sunflowers from Your Small Kitchen Garden

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.


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