Remember the old song, “Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy” – well, I feel the same way about Sunflowers in my front yard!
Not only do these beauties provide a feast for the finches, they also bring to my mind a sweet childhood memory.
You see, when I was about six or seven years old, my elementary school teacher sent each of her students home with a little potted flower whose green stem was just starting to poke through the top of the soil. The idea was to plant it and watch it grow over the summer months. I chose a Zinnia, and my Mom and I put it in a prominent place, right in the center of our front flower bed. I watered it and watched it and watered it and watched it, and before long it started to grow. And it grew…and it grew…we’re taking “Jack and the Beanstalk”…and it grew some more.
It turns out my Zinnia was really a Sunflower. It got to be as high as the house, with a sunny face as big as a pie plate. Needless to say, it didn’t quite blend in with the other flowers in the front bed. Good thing we gave it a prominent place! Now, whenever I see a Sunflower (or hear the word “Zinnia”) that memory warms my heart. Here is an old photo I dug up so you can see for yourself.
I went out the other day and took a few pictures of one of these lovely flowers. If you want to get one with all of its petals intact, you have to be fast…
….because as soon as they blossom, the Goldfinches show up and start playing “He loves me, he loves me not” to get to the center seeds. This fellow perched on top and posed for a couple pictures.
And this fellow dropped by too. He is molting right now, but will soon be as brilliant as the flower he is munching on.
Yes – Sunflowers definitely make me smile.