Sunflowers.

09-17a

It’s feeling like Fall though we still have a few more days until the official arrival this Sunday. Well, this morning those weathermen warned us we were in for a rude awakening when we stepped outside today and it was best to take a parka … well they were right about that. The last week we’ve hop scotched from tropical to chilly to downright cold temperatures. I donned a tee-shirt and a sweat suit and was grateful that at the last minute I pawed through my off-season clothes to find my sweatshirt cardigan to add an extra layer before leaving for my walk. It sure was crisp and beautiful but breath vapors came out of my mouth when I mumbled to myself how cold I was. I turned my head upward seeking some rays from the sun which was still high in the sky and not emitting much warmth, so I walked briskly to the Park in an effort to warm up. As I wound my way around the perimeter paths at Council Point Park, along the twists and turns where the trees are scarce and the reeds are raggedy, I was able to glimpse the Ecorse Creek and I saw vapors coming from the water. Wow – what incredibly wacky weather for mid-September!

Indeed, the weather has been weird since the Spring if you think about it. We had that one really hot week in mid-July and then a few scorching days last week and it looks like the temps will crank up at the tail end of this week; hopefully that will be Summer’s swan song. In the meantime, there already are yellowish, curled-up leaves littering the Park paths and every so often there are dabs of gold standing tall amongst the still-green leaves of wild rhubarb – yes, the goldenrods are still thriving as are many bright yellow wild daisies. I’ve even seen some yellow dandelions dotting the grass. What gives with that … aren’t they supposed to dry up and go to seed and fly away months ago?

When I saw those yellow wild daisies it dawned on me that something else was amiss this Summer. Where are the sunflowers? Did our lack of sunshine and warm weather prohibit the growth of those gangly but grandiose flowers in so many backyards? Perhaps the cool temps stunted the growth of all the sunflowers and instead of reaching beanstalk proportion, they are merely languishing in gardens masquerading as daisies. By late August the birds and squirrels from their high perches would be scanning the sunflowers in anticipation of the finished product and treats to be disbursed to all. I bought packets of Russian Mammoth Sunflower seeds several years ago. I planted some seeds in pots and put the rest in the ground. It was the first time for me trying to grow these massive beauties. Finally, one sprout came up and I protected it under a large pickle jar until it was sturdy enough to be tied to a stick for support. Gradually, that one sunflower grew to rooftop height, and then I waited patiently for the flower head to ripen and become laden with seeds. My goal was to put the flower head “pan” of seeds in the yard for the cardinals to feast on. All Summer I had a vision of offering the sunflower head to my feathered friends as they queued up to nibble the seeds, then politely stepped aside to allow their brethren to partake in the goodies. Well, only in the Birds and Blooms magazine does that scenario transpire. One morning I went out to water, and the flower head had collapsed and broken several of my Coneflowers when it crashed to the ground. I flipped over the flower head and put it on a stepping stone in the backyard where I could watch the feast transpire from my binoculars as I stood behind a back window curtain. Not a single cardinal appeared, but the squirrels gorged themselves silly, that is, until I went out and loaded the birdfeeders and they aimed their sights there instead. The flower head eventually started to rot and attracted bugs so it was pitched into the garbage while the squirrels and a few birds looked on. So much for good intentions.

About Linda Schaub

This is my first blog and I enjoy writing each and every post immensely. I started a walking regimen in 2011 and decided to create a blog as a means of memorializing the people, places and things I see on my daily walks. I have always enjoyed people watching, and so my blog is peppered with folks I meet, or reflections of characters I have known through the years. Often something piques my interest, or evokes a pleasant memory from my memory bank, so this becomes a “slice o’ life” blog post that day. I respect and appreciate nature and my interaction with Mother Nature’s gifts is also a common theme. Sometimes the most-ordinary items become fodder for points to ponder over and touch upon. My career has been in the legal field and I have been a legal secretary for four decades, primarily working in downtown Detroit, and now working from my home. I graduated from Wayne State University with a degree in print journalism in 1978, though I’ve never worked in that field. I like to think this blog is the writer in me finally emerging!! Walking and writing have met and shaken hands and the creative juices are flowing once again in Walkin’, Writin’, Wit & Whimsy – hope you think so too. - Linda Schaub
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9 Responses to Sunflowers.

  1. grow another but this time support it! You have a sunflower thumb!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Ha ha – sunflower thumb – I like that. 🙂 I think I will do it again but I just sent you a post from 2017 in my comment on the current post. In that post from 2017 I show the sunflower as it was growing and I did stake it to the shepherd’s hook which was 7 feet tall – it should not have crumpled like that. I’ll try next year for sure. This year a friend sent me shamrocks – the squirrels dug them up (they are small bulbs) and I replanted them several times (in pots and they dug in the pots) and they finally took. I took pictures and will do a post at year end … I have a post in mind how to show them off. They will not overwinter unless I bring them inside.

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  2. I looked it up,a Russian mammoth can have up to 1000 seeds! You didn’t happen to measure the heads diameter?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda Schaub says:

      Wow – I didn’t know that … the squirrels were feasting on it or one squirrel at least when I went out to water that morning. Birds of course were lined up on the fence watching the squirrels being little piggies I would say as big as a dinner plate probably in size. I have done another post back in 2017 that I remembered that documented the growth of that sunflower … you can see that I staked it to a very tall shepherd’s hook – guessing it was a 7-foot double shepherd’s hook but once it took off and got top heavy, that is what ultimately did it in. In this post, you can see the Russian Mammoth sunflower and also one of the three sunflowers I planted in pots on wheels on the back patio – the bunnies could not reach them so they survived. The bunnies chomp on everything around here, even though they are cute as a button. https://lindaschaubblog.net/2017/08/20/sunday-sunflowers/

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