Monday, June 25, 2012


Last summer was hot. Super hot.  For two months the daily high was over 100 degrees, which meant that not only were were indoors almost exclusively for the first two months of our son's life, but we didn't really take care of some of the plants out in our yard. Unfortunately, one tragic victim of last year's heat was a big ol' birch tree out back.  This spring it wasn't looking so good, and while other trees were budding and grass was poking through, this birch tree rose tall and gray, casting one final wilting shadow over our back yard. We called Nate's Tree Service and after some consultation with Nate himself, we decided that the tree had to go. And in one fell swoop his crew dismantled the birch down clear down to the stump, and where it once stood there now remains only a low-spread pile of woodchips.

But we soon noticed something poking up from the organic rubble: a tall, green, leafy plant. At first we thought it was a weed, but a friend of ours suggested it might be a sunflower. So we let it be, and sure enough, a few days ago we saw the makings of a glowing golden head poking out from between the blades of a leafy bundle.
Could be a weed, a sunflower, or something out of a science fiction movie.
The very next morning, like a monarch emerging from a cocoon, the sunflower began to show its true colors.
Hello, what have we here?
By evening it had stretched and flexed to the point where it was truly living up to its namesake.
Our son mistakenly thought sunflower petals were for picking.
 And this morning, as the dark gave way to the soft glow of blue sky and glistening dewdrops, the sky, the sunflower in our yard stretched with all its might to seize the day in a glowing embrace.
Top o' the morning to you!
For a bit of perspective, here's the big guy just hanging out. Just to the left of the sunflower you can see the woodchips that used to be a birch tree. If my friend Julie were here, I'm sure she would find a way to turn this whole corner of our yard into some kind of magical garden with vegetables, flowers, and maybe even some faeries, but alas I'll probably just do my best to keep the grass mowed since that is pretty much the extent of all my yardworking skills.
Don't mind me...I'm just keeping an eye on things...
All this brought to mind a verse from the Gospel: "See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?" (Matthew 6:28-29) How incredible to think that our creator, the Lord God Almighty, who has crafted blooms like this with such beauty and intricate detail, cares for us more than endless fields of flowers!


Julie said...

I love sunflowers! And these are some awesome shots, Simon! I especially like the colors of the bokeh in the second to the last one. Yep, that new camera you guys got definitely is a mighty fine one!

You know... You can get edible sunflower seeds from that pretty thing growing there too? A few summers ago we had some giant sunflowers that we planted specifically to harvest sunflower seeds from. The birds stole most of them, but we got a few and it was pretty cool. I have 2 photos I took of them on my deviantART site if you feel like taking a look... and

Those photos were taken with my camera and are pretty enough, but you'll see (if you look at them) why I've been stealing Rachael's camera for taking pictures in my new garden.

Simon Ringsmuth said...

Yeah, I'm a sucker for bokeh! I'm glad you like the pictures, and I might have to try the edible sunflower seeds idea too. I did check out your photos on DeviantArt and they are good! I like the one of the lone sunflower against the blue sky :)

What kind of camera does Rachael have? Now you've got me all sorts of curious.

Julie said...

I wouldn't even be able to tell you what kind of camera she's got. And I'll wake her up if I go in her room right now to try and take a look. I think it's a Nikon. It's nothing fancy. My parent bought it for her for just over a hundred bucks several years ago It's nothing fancy, but it takes nice close-ups. :) Not that you asked, but mine is a Fuji of some sorts and my sis paid around $250 for it about 6 years ago for me for my 40th birthday. If you poked around at all and saw my butterfly and bee pics on my deviantART I took those with my camera too. But the fancier looking butterfly one ~ Rachael edited to give it that Bokeh look.

Hey, you should check out Rachael's deviatART gallery sometime. She has a lot of different and interesting stuff. Not all of her stuff is in her main gallery though so if you check it out be sure to click on the the individual folders along the left side.

Simon Ringsmuth said...

Wow, just wow. She is a real artist! I can hardly believe the photo manipulations she does. That's pro-quality stuff, Julie! I'm sure you are one proud mama :)