The largest sunflower, a volunteer that defiantly sprouted from a seed that the chickens either missed or couldn’t reach because it bounced outside their run, has reached the point where it’s ready for harvest. While I’m always delighted to find these kinds of volunteers, I also discovered a surprise growing amidst the other sunflowers that I had intentionally planted. What kind of surprise? Read on to find out.Continue reading “Around The Farm: A Small Harvest…And A Surprise”
The Autumnal Equinox occurs today in the Northern Hemisphere. And it’s raining. It’s been raining for the past couple of days, and I’m not going to even pretend that it’s not a bit…dreary. The oppressive gray clouds, thick and unrelenting, filter the sunlight so that it’s unusually dark, even during the day. In spite of the inclement conditions though, beauty is just waiting to be found.Continue reading “Around The Farm: First Day Of Fall”
Anyone else need a dose of sunflowers this Monday morning? I know I do.Continue reading “Haiku: Monday Muster”
The volunteer sunflower has bloomed, and it is a glorious sight. In these troubling times, I find the continuity of the natural world – admittedly disrupted by humans’ actions and inactions – soothing.
This bloom is new to the world – fresh and hopeful. May it one day become a head heavily laden with seeds, each eager to germinate, grow, and greet the morning sun.
So many flowers, so little time – blooms of all sizes, colors, and fragrances, and I’d like to capture them all. As I picked wild blackberries, I stopped to smell the flowers and enjoy their cheeriness. They’re hard to ignore, aren’t they?Continue reading “Sunday Scenes: Flowers Abound”
The big sunflowers are in the homestretch, and looking a bit peaked. Soon, there will be mature seeds in those heads – seeds capable of becoming a whole new field of sunflowers. Though I admittedly anthropomorphized in verse, viewing those heavy heads created a definite feel – perhaps even an understanding – that they knew their time was ending soon, but willingly sacrificed themselves to live on in their seeds. I’m sad, however, to see their cheery beauty fade.
Thank you, volunteer sunflowers, for gracing our pasture with your shining faces. You will live on.
Interested in learning more about the stages of sunflower development? Check out this brochure from NDSU Extension.
I’ve been planning a garden for the last couple of years, but have yet to actually set up the raised beds…despite having the lumber to do it. Why? It seems that other projects (interests?) always get in the way and, before I know it, it’s too late in the year to begin. Thankfully, volunteers have been allowing me to practice a bit this year!
The forecasted storms have rolled in. We got a brief drenching yesterday afternoon, it definitely rained overnight, and the rain ramped up again this morning. Walking out in the downpour to shut the chicken coop door reminded me why rain is so important, in ways we take for granted.
Every year, we find volunteer sunflowers growing somewhere on our property. The cause is easy to identify: the black oil sunflower seeds (BOSS) that we feed to the poultry and waterfowl get scattered around – sometimes even by wild birds – and those plucky seeds germinate. Seemingly in the blink of an eye, a radiant sunflower appears. And what’s cheerier than a sunflower?
When the volunteer grows late in the season, though, its chances for its seeds to reach maturity become slim. One late summer sunflower, with multiple funky little heads, did manage to produce seeds.
A second one that grew just weeks behind the first (above) succumbed to a killing frost. I found it frozen one morning when the temperatures had plunged overnight. I wish that one had made it to the finish line, too…but know it didn’t worry about the future – it just lived and grew, each day.
In Spring, I’ll plant some low-maintenance, smile-inducing sunflowers intentionally…but I bet a few volunteers will still pop up, too!
While it seems to have taken longer than usual, it’s like a switch has been flipped and the foliage is turning color. We’ve had a couple of beautiful fall days, with frost riming the grass in the morning and the kind of azure skies that only seem to appear at this time of year. Autumn’s beauty is spellbinding – and worthy of appreciation.