Friday, August 24, 2012

Sunflower Seasons

Takes no detective to see that squirrels did the eating here.
They tend to chew up the whole flower

This year I don't hate him for cutting them down.  Last year a squirrel nipped the blossoms off  nearly all the sunflowers, some before they were even encircled in their sacred halo of golden petals.  To save seeds from a single, slender, pale yellow beauty took extreme vigilance on my part.

Blossom carried to the top of the woodshed
before being demolished 

So I retaliated early this spring.  All the saved seeds were tucked into rich potting soil, nurtured, loved.  As spring made her debut, three dozen seedlings were ready to take on the yard.  And all summer they've been glowing with exuberance and joy, along the street side, next to the neighbors, in the back garden.  There was no indication that the squirrels even saw the flowers--until three days ago.  A side branch on a hefty stalk was pulled off, its flowers all chewed and torn.

Sorry, but you were just too slow to catch the
chickadee feeding on this abundant head of seeds. 
Today the movement of gray fur on the top of the sunflower jerked my attention to it.  It's a strong flower that can support a fat squirrel.  I chuckled to myself.  This year the favorite pale yellow flowers are all over the yard, strong, sturdy, and vibrant, and I've already collected my seeds for next year.  The squirrel can duke it out with the chickadees for who takes the lion's share.  Catching a photo of both of them gobbling up the goodies will not be one of the Things I get to do today.
Empty faces scrubbed clean
by the quick stabs of
chickadee beaks.


  1. Oh, those chickadees! I love to watch them hand upside down and eat sunflower seeds like kernels of corn. We realized we didn't plant any this year, and will remedy that next year.

    1. God bless the grass and the chickadees and the squirrels. God bless the sunflowers and the honey bees. Well, yes, plant for next year. But that meant you could focus your care on Sunny. Good work!

  2. I don't know why I don't grow Sunflowers. They are so pretty and the birds love them. I buy the seeds by the 50 pound bagfuls in the winter to feed them. I love the photos you took in this post.