FOTD, 9/13, The Giant Falls

Well, we enjoyed him throughout the summer, but the sunflower giants have finished their life. Their goal, beside being beautiful, is to create seeds…that create more flowers…that create more seeds…that …well you know.

The giant at his most beautiful – over 11 feet tall

I find the evolution of the bloom itself amazing. It never stops growing. It can’t, for it has to get big enough to sustain the growth of the seeds. The bloom at the stage above is approximately 9 inches, not counting the beautiful yellow petals. But once the petals die and fall off, the flower center continues to gain in size as it produces the hundreds of seeds.

The inner bloom now is over 14 inches

The much needed rain we had this past weekend did the giant in, as the stem could no longer support the bloom’s weight of over 4 pounds. The stalk had bent over from its weight over the last few weeks to nearly 180 degrees but the hardiness of the stalk refused to let the bloom fall. It fell over from the root ball and soft ground. I could not get my fingers completely around the stalk.

Stalk was almost 3 inches in diameter.

I had to take a machete to take it to get it to the trash pile but I put the bloom out for the birds to enjoy the seeds. Yes, I will pull some seeds for next years project…a sunflower circle, a fun thing we saw on FB. I still have 1 giant left and 1 multi-bloom that are still surviving. I was also amazed by the size of the leaves. They looked like elephant ears – over 18 inches across.

But the seeds were the most amazing how they are packed tighter than seeds in a grape.

Look at the little flowerets for the ends of the seeds.

A macro to show how tightly packed they are.

For now is the time for season change. The sugar maples are beginning to change to show their red beauty with a sprinkling of yellow scattered through the leaves. As the season changes to a cooler climate, remember to keep your kindness warm.

Always Be Kind

Not A Bird

There are many of us who enjoy watching our birds. We learn which foods bring which birds and how to keep squirrels out of your feeders…but when you have a platform feeder, that brings on other challenges. Below you can see that George is non too happy that Chippy is in his feeder.

I am not sure a slinky works in this instance.

The Slinkies work great on the pole feeders. I put one on the feeder at the church and have not seen a squirrel since. If you are having squirrel issues, try adding a slinky to the pole. A lot cheaper than those weighted feeders.

Wish I had seen how Chippy climbed up the concrete blocks but I didn’t. I let him eat for a few minutes and then let Daisy out.

Look how full his fat cheeks are.

Since I lost the majority of my sunflowers in the storm on Saturday, The flowers that had already gone to seed I laid out for the birds. They are messy little critters but I am glad they are enjoying them still.

My favorite visitor to those seeds are the Goldfinches. Their bright yellow color with the sunflowers is amazing.

I am not that great of a photographer but my phone does at least give me pictures to make me smile. So I encourage you to enjoy your birds…and non birds. They are all part of God’s creation and meant for us to enjoy.

And as always, remember to be kind. It blesses your heart as much as the receiver of kindness.

Weekend Sky #71, Aug 20

Hammad Rais has a fun challenge for Weekend Sky and today was a good day for sky watching. When we started out in the morning, we only had a 15% chance of rain. So you can imagine our surprise when our outing at church got us “drowned rat” wet. It was not a great look but it did give us an event to always remember.

And I saw another line of storms coming around 2:00pm. After getting back home, and dry, I though that would be a great time for a nap…wrong thought. Aside from the lightening and thunder being on top of us, the wind and rain was so intense that it knocked down my sunflowers – remember my post about Sun and Mood 2 days ago. Yep, gone. They were wonderful though and I have picture to prove it. LOL.

So back to the sky. After the storm blew through I got these pictures of the amazing clouds as they cleared the area.

I hope these clouds can encourage you and help you know, regardless of the storm you may be going through, there is always a peace and beauty after the storm leaves. Hang on to that hope, you have got this and if you feel like you can’t hold on by yourself, God always has a hand stretched out to you for you to hold onto. Grab it and hold tight. He will never let you go.

And remember to always be kind, regardless of your storm.

FOTD – Sun & Moon

Cee’s Fun Challenges

Well technically we are stretching the title a bit – Sun(flower) and moon. I was out very early this morning. The dew was still heavy on the grass and I saw the giants were blooming.

Sunflower with moon in background

I started not to take the photo as the flower was still in the dark but then I saw the moon and had to take the picture. For some of us its the little things that make us smile.

Once the sun got over the hill and trees behind us, I took another picture. It really is the bigger of my sunflowers this year. I have two single bloom giants, and the blooms are huge.

This picture gives you a good idea of their height. My fence is four feet high. So these are over ten feet high. The sunflowers on the other side of the yard all had multiple blooms. The blooms are not as huge but the plants still top out over ten feet.

This shot was taken early morning with the sun just breaking through the trees behind the hill. The second one is the same shot but with good sunshine.

There are only four stalks here with well over fifty blooms. Nature is an amazing way to see all of its variations of life. The birds and the bees have really enjoyed them and due to the seeds they have already dropped, I will probably have sunflowers again next year.

I close as normal with a reminder to always be kind. It can lighten someone’s day.

Show the love and beauty of His kindness.

Office Window

I am mostly retired but I do work 3 days a week answering the phone at church. Its enough to keep me from being bored. Today I was very entertained with the wildlife out the window. If you remember, I was having issues with squirrels due to food change. I can assure you that safflower seeds work in keeping squirrels from your feeder. I still get chickadees, house finches, cardinal, titmouse, and occasional sparrows.

But today, something was very scary about the feeder. It looked to be a monster that could devourer…

It wont hurt you guys, I promise.

I guess the slinky did look kind of odd, but it is effective – no squirrels today. I know they are resilient and may come back, so we will see. There were at least ten of them sitting on the outer branches waiting on someone to get brave enough to go first. And finally it did.

Then they all tried to come at once…

May Day, May Day…

But the cutest thing was a parent and a fledgling or maybe it was just a demanding bird begging to be fed…

It was very entertaining. It was a good example of kindness in the animal kingdom. We should all strive to be kind to all things at all times. Kindness matters.

Share Your Desktop

Clare’s Cosmos has a fun challenge I will play with today, even though my pictures are not as clear as they should be. It is a memory that was fascinating to me. I had three hummers fighting over the feeder, zooming and zipping through the air, chattering that I could hear through the window.

Even though these birds were not being kind, we need to remember the beauty in being kind.

Weekend Sky, Sunset

Sunday found us at an outdoor concert by the river and the sky was fascinating. Hammad Rais had a fascinating photo on his #68 post that looked like a lion. Our weekend sky was much less dramatic but still beautiful.

First it was building…

Then its color started changing and it started falling…

Then it fell away and got swallowed by smaller ones…

The sky is always fascinating as it moves and changes. In closing I remind you to never change from being kind. Kindness is a trait we should always keep with us.

We can always use more joy in our lives – so always be kind.

FOTD – July 19, Neighboring Lilies

Thank you Cee for the fun challenge of FOTD. It’s fun seeing the different varieties of flowers around the world.

Last weekend, I walked around the block and took pictures of the various lilies along the edges of other peoples yards. From creamy yellow to striking red with yellow centers.

The waviness of some of the petals and the striking color patterns of others make daylilies fascinating.

The some edges are super smooth…

Lily and friend

This was a patch red ones with a bright yellow center and real ruffly edges…

And I like this one in the shadows for a different affect with the camera.

And last but by no means least as we are sporting three different colors…

I hope you enjoyed this walk through the lilies. Lilies seem to have the largest variety of color, shape and size so that you could never get bored with them.

I close with my reminder of showing the beauty of kindness as these flowers share their beauty with us. Kindness reflects true beauty.

FOTD, June 21 Petunias

Cee Neuner gives us a great way to share the beauty of nature around us with her different challenges. During the summer, I love sharing my flowers. Today I share my many colors of Petunias.

These purplish ones look blue in the shade

The white ones have a majesty all their own.

The creamy yellows ones have a softness to them that reminds me of yummy frozen custard.

Then we get into the fun ones. Candy cane petunias can make anyone smile.

But my favorites this year are ones I have never seen before. Each bloom is spotted differently so as they grow all summer they will change. And being purple, that puts them on the favorite list anyway.

Awesome

In closing as we enjoy the beauty of flowers, remember the beauty of kindness.

always be kind

Even a flower can feel the beauty of kindness.

CBWC: Shoes, Boots, Slippers

While taking this rainy day to clean out closets, I ran across some shoes I have not worn in a couple of years…and they needed posting. Thank you Cee for allowing us to share fun memories. Today we have changed purple and white shoes to black and white…but the memories are still full of color.

Remember whether in black and white or full color, kindness is always beautiful color.

Always Be Kind