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Posts Tagged ‘sunflower’

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Sunflowers are wonderful on gray days or sunny, but they seem happiest on sunny days. Gardeners in the local community garden plant a lot of sunflowers, probably to keep the birds busy and away from other plants.

I took the second sunflower photo on a gray day when I happened to notice how prettily this lady’s hair was arranged around her face. I haven’t been to my hairdresser for many moons. Although I’m concerned for her and her coworkers, who need to make a living, I’m still too afraid to go in buildings where coronavirus droplets might linger in the air. I’m hoping my hair ends up with a sunflower naturalness — but a scarecrow look seems more likely.

Going deeper into the garden to capture the first photo, I noticed an arbor I hadn’t seen before. All Morning Glories!

In other walks around town, I was drawn to a stark tree skeleton in a quiet swamp and Purple Loosestrife crowding around a footbridge. The Balloon Flower (or Japanese Bellflower) I suddenly started noticing in local yards after studying a painting on a calendar that a friend in Hokkaido sends me every year. I had never zeroed in on those balloon-like buds before.

Next are yellow roses, a bizarre fungus, and good advice on a small, wise stone. The old seafood sign was outside an antique shop. I’m also sharing a picture of produce that the grocery store delivered the other day, and a blueberry-raspberry cake I made for our very quiet 50th anniversary.

The sheep were sent to me by Stuga40, who sees many wonders on her walks in Stockholm, a city that knows the value of nature.

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For the longest time, it looked like nothing at all, this art installation of 10,000 sunflowers where route 195 once polluted the soil.

Adam E. Anderson, the brains behind the community-building project, writes on his website, “Ten Thousand Suns is a summer-long botanical performance in which over 10,000 sunflower seeds have been planted and being nurtured over the course of the summer months, on land that until recently sat under a highway, with high compaction, low-organic material, and embedded with toxicity.  …

“Rather than using high maintenance and energy intensive large swaths of turf grass, the installation uses the bio-accumulating (removes toxins) and habitat creating properties of Helioanthus (aka, Sunflower) planted in rows in a series of large circles, leaving paths in-between for intimate exploration.

“The project will create a spontaneous and unique cultural identity for the citizens of Providence and its visitors during the summer months.”

With little rain all summer, the project looked like a hopeless cause for many weeks. Until it didn’t.

In celebration of the cheery results, I want to share a few lines of a poem about a goldfinch loving a sunflower. Because who wouldn’t love a sunflower?

From poet Ross Gay‘s “Wedding Poem”

Friends I am here modestly to report
seeing in an orchard
in my town
a goldfinch kissing
a sunflower
again and again
dangling upside down
by its tiny claws
steadying itself by snapping open
like an old-timey fan
its wings
again and again
until swooning, it tumbled off
and swooped back to the very same perch …

Read more about the project at Adam Anderson’s site, here, and on Facebook, here. Click on my photos to check the dates.

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This healthy sunflower is at the Old Manse in Concord. The Trustees of Reservations always plant a big garden there, with pumpkins growing between the corn rows.

The lantern-like seed pods in the next photo embellish a tree beside the Providence River. The leaf shadows on brick were spotted not far away, along a grubby Providence sidewalk.

Can you read the plaque on the Providence Journal building? It shows the crazy height that the water reached in the infamous Hurricane of ’38. Golly!

My husband says the barrier at Fox Point will prevent flooding like that from ever happening again. I don’t know. Were the engineers aware of global warming when they started construction in 1960?

New Shoreham (in the next picture) was also battered in the hurricane of ’38. In fact, the storm wiped out the island economy on land and sea. The fishermen and farmers were not insured against such a catastrophe. No wonder people there remember that hurricane!

One thing that is different since 1938, as I learned in a splendid book called A Wind to Shake the World, communities in the path of a hurricane now get plenty of warning. But in 1938, when houses on Long Island, New York, were washing out to sea, no one up north knew it.

A few other shots of New Shoreham: a Wednesday farmers market, the Little Free Library, a view through a stone wall, a rumpled morning sky, and the North Light.

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The little Vine video is of the fountain that children love in the Greenway. Nearby is the old State House, looking refined in the shadow of tall, impersonal modernities.

I took a photo of the sign explaining some new sculptures. They turn out to be part of the Design Biennial in Boston.

In the Dewey Square section of the Greenway, I also love the farmers market that materializes Tuesdays and Thursdays. Note the sunflowers, flourishing in the Greenway’s demonstration garden. The narrow, decrepit building behind them always intrigues me. What would you do with it if it were yours? It’s a valuable location that no one seems to want. What about a pocket performance space?

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Today’s post features a bunch of photos again, if you can bear it.

I was especially intrigued by a lovely sunflower and a utility pole that is an actual tree trunk. Although the tree trunk has probably been right in front of my nose for 20 years, it wasn’t until a recent late-train day that I actually noticed. “Holy cow! That’s a tree trunk!” No one else seemed to notice.

Other photos are attempts to capture early-morning light, but you may not be able to tell what time of day it is.

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