There is not a flower that says sunshine quite like the Sunflower. Sure daisies are close, but the sunflower radiates and reflects the glow of the sun. It is almost like the sun going in IS the sun reflecting out. And sunflowers make loads more sunflowers. A single flower can have up to 2000 seeds. My cockatoo loves sunflower seeds, and so do I warm from an oven toasting.
It lights up anywhere it grows. And grow they do, up to 18 feet tall. They are beacons to the birds for bringing in wildlife. I do not grow them here, but they grow on the farm, in fact, many local farms.
I took the photographs just to prove my point that they still glow. In fact all the images were taken in varying degrees of sunlight. The top three images were taken on a very dark, and an about to be rainy day with the sun nowhere to be seen. It was just the bland, even light of the morning.
There are also new varieties that have lower pollen counts, which is not only good for asthma suffers, but extends the life of the flower too. But it is not so good for the bees, I am guessing. But that happy face turns to a frown by the end of summer, and it glows no more.
But even in decline, it has an eerie beauty. Sunflowers were painted repeatedly and famously by Vincent van Gogh, both in the brightness of life and the throes of decline. In fact, I did a post on fading flowers and noted van Gogh’s many studies of the flowers.
And the sun still shines down on the sunflower. But notice, the heads are all pointing the same way, which is east. While the protective petals are opening, the plant tracts the sun in 180° following the sun. It returns to east facing overnight to start the process all over again for the next day. The term for this is called heliotropism. I could not think of this term and had to look it up because it was bugging me not to remember. You know how when you know something and it just slips your mind…. Anyway, once the head blooms, the stalk will remain frozen and pointing east.
That is why when you saw my post on Sunflower Farm, all the flowers were pointed east. A good compass, no?
And don’t forget that next Wednesday we have Word for Wednesday. It is a meme every two weeks highlighting a Word in Pictures. Oct. 5 we have ‘Repose’ and feel free to expand and stretch the meaning a bit. There is so much creativity in thinking outside the box, so many did just that with Illumination.