Sunday, August 30, 2009

Mi Familia

Finally got my family to pose in the flowers. You'd think, since the flowers are in our backyard, we could just pop out and snap a quick shot or two. Oh! If it were that easy!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Heading South

The field is in full bloom, but some of the flowers are starting to start their
gradual decline towards ugly.

If you want a sea of yellow, this is as good as this year will get.
It's just too bad we don't have the gorgeous skies to go with it.

Most of the flowers still look pretty good, but as the heads fill out with seed,
they become heavy and they appear as if they are looking at their toes.
(Or their neighbor's toes.)

Many are still lookin' good.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

A couple from my phone...

It's been a rather busy day and I only had my phone with me.
I zipped past the field and snapped a couple of shots.

You can see that we still have those cloudy skies that are threatening rain...again.

The sunflowers have filled in nicely. I'm hoping they last through the weekend.
I'm thinking they will.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Prime Time

We thought that Wednesday (today) would be the day when the most sunflowers looked the best. I think we were right. I went out this morning, and other than some clouds and a bit of fog, the field looked great.

Lots of flowers open!
The lighting, however, was not the best.
But it still made for an interesting shot or two.
And those steel colored clouds were a nice backdrop.
But we seem to have developed a real problem in the last few minutes...
(Glad I got out of there when I did.)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Busy, Busy, Busy!

Happy Monday morning!
A few shots for you, courtesy of farmer Ted.

Another shot just to show you the overall progress of the field.

Ted loves bees. He seems to be bent on getting lots of bee pictures.

A Ferris wheel of bees.

A bee flying in from the north.

A bee flying away south.
Thanks honey! (Har har!)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Shaping Up Nicely

The field is looking pretty good today. Still not at peak bloom, but not bad!
Our "river of molten sunflowers" oozing down the hill is
more beautiful today than yesterday.

The bees are busy pollinating these beauties.
We love the bees and bees love sunflowers. They are so intent on doing their job, they pay no attention to camera lenses (or the people) that are inches away.
I've never been stung by a bee in the sunflowers...ever!
*knocks on wood*

But the bees better watch out! These wheel bugs seem to have a
taste for bees. And they are patiently waiting...

Mud No More!

Just wanted all to know that the ground in the field is firming up nicely. Much less mud to contend with. In fact, you have to really search for the mud. We did have some adventurous girls that found the mud yesterday, but they went WAAAAYYYYYY out in the field to find it.
I'll post more pics later.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Two Bees, or Not Two Bees?

As you can see, the field is more yellow! Hurray!
I'm having a wonderful time talking to old friends and new
that are stopping by the house to say hello on their quest to find sunflowers.

And I'm asking the age old question: "Two bees, or not two bees?"
I think it's definitely two bees!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Sleepy Heads!

I cannot believe the weather we've been having. Right now, at 3 pm, in August, we are at 75 degrees. Lovely! Gorgeous! I want more! I need more!
But the sunflowers? They don't know how to behave in conditions such as this. They are use to sweltering 100 plus degrees and zero rainfall. They usually all pop open at once, are gorgeous for about a week, and then die quickly. This year, however, they are all popping open at different times.

Here's what the field looks like today. Still more yellow, but not a sea of yellow as we would expect. I'm beginning to wonder if we will get that sea of yellow. And if we do, will it last longer? I simply don't know. The sunflowers are sluggish this year.

On the brighter side, we have these beautiful skies today.

This is the bean field directly to the east of the sunflowers.
More beautiful skies over that way, too.

Well, here we have a few sunflowers that are managing to work as a team.
Good job you guys!

Then we have a lot more like this.
Simply refusing to wake up!

Buddy didn't have too much to say on the subject.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Sunflower Update # 7832

We got another 1/2 inch of rain last night, in addition to a boat load of wind. Some of the sunflowers were a little wind-blown this morning...nothing too bad, though.
As you can see, the field is just a bit yellower today. Is "yellower" a word?

I thought that all of the cloud cover might keep more flowers from opening up. But NO! Still more are popping open. I'm thinking this weekend will be gorgeous!

Here's Ted going in for a close-up of a wheel bug.

Lots of flowers still look like this...which still makes for a pretty picture...I think.


But I am warning you:
If you plan to venture out into the field this weekend, YOU WILL GET MUDDY!!!
Don't say I didn't tell ya!
I wasn't brave enough to trudge in mud this morning, but it didn't stop Ted or his faithful companion Buddy. But they both clean up nice.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Sunflowers by farmer Ted

Ted was going down to the sunflower field so I sent my camera with him. This is always a fun exercise as I get to see what he sees and he usually manages to capture a few gems.
This is some sort of bug...obviously. Have not yet identified it. I think it's a Wheel Bug.
More and more sunflowers are starting to open.

Partly cloudy today and currently 77 degrees.

A shot of the field starting to "yellow up."

Chances are good that if you come out to the field, you will see this guy. He's not at all vicious. He just happens to be yawning in this photo. He is a rather large beast. His name is Buddy Clifford and we love him very much.

This is his usual appearance. It says:
"I am too old to stand around all day, but please pet me anyway."

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

My New Friends

New field pics as of 5:00 this evening. More sunflowers are popping! Yay! Hurray! Whoot! (Did I just say "whoot?")

Pretty soon this will look like a flowing river of yellow sunflowers.

These, along with the majority, are still not there yet. Taking their time.

Can you believe the weather forecasters are calling for more rain? I'm not arguing
with that giant thunderhead in the background.

Have I mentioned that after a sunflower gets to a certain stage in development, it refuses to turn it's head to follow the sun. They fix themselves to stare East. Why East? Because they like to watch the sunrise. (Okay, I just made that last part up.)

When I was out taking pictures this evening, I stumbled upon this lovely mother/daughter pair(and lovely Grandma who stayed in the car). Three generations out seeing the sunflowers. Isn't that a wonderful thing? And here's the kicker...they drove all the way from Michigan! This is Melissa and Maria, my new friends...because you can't have too many friends! And you never know, I may just need a place to stay in Michigan someday. Sadly, they missed the field in it's prime, but I think they were still enjoying themselves. And I love that they were both wearing pink! When I have my picture taken in the flowers this year, you can bet I'm going to be wearing pink!

Monday, August 17, 2009

My, Oh My!

We took a few days last week to take "one last hurrah" for the family before school starts this week. When we got back late last night, we discovered a couple of things:
1. The sunflowers are HUGE! and
2. It was raining...again.
It rained most of the night and morning. There is 4 and 6/10 inches of rain in my rain gauge.
It is Kansas. This simply should not be happening! (Not that I'm complaining.)Check out the ground near the edge of the field. Sunflowers standing in water? Huh?
Did you notice anything else? (click on pic) Yep! They are starting to bloom!!! They should be gorgeous by this coming weekend. All bets are lost as to when we thought they would bloom. The weather has simply been too much a factor to contend with this year.
If you want to run down a row of sunflowers, be prepared for them to possibly be over your head, and be prepared for your shoes to get muddy! The sunflowers are over my head but I'm kinda sorta short...5 foot 2, eyes of blue...(you can finish these lyrics). If you plan on taking pics of little Jimmy and little Annie in the flowers, bring a ladder.

This sunflower is an over achiever. Just couldn't wait on it's peers. (But I didn't want it to feel bad so I gave it 2 points of extra credit for turning it's work in early.)

This is what the overall field looks like right now. Just starting to pop. If you are the type that simply has to come out every day for a picture, you need to be here NOW!
At this point, I think I'm going to have to do a daily update on these beauties so you can keep checking back in.

Update Coming Later Today

I really will do an update later today! Right now, I can tell you that the sunflowers are going to be even earlier than planned; they are going to be much taller than planned; and the field might just be on the muddy side. "Why?" you ask. BECAUSE IT'S RAINING AGAIN!!!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Growing Like Weeds!

A week ago, I updated the sunflower status and was surprised to see how much they had grown. Kind of like children, when you see them everyday, you take for granted that they are growing until one day you look at them, notice how big they've gotten, and think: "Holy cow! When did that happen?" Today was no exception. It was time to drag my yard-stick out to the field. (Let me explain what a chore this is as I have to walk a whole 30 yards to get there...and it's HOT! And sticky...and muggy...and buggy...and HOT!) The sunflowers don't care. They love this weather.

The sunflowers are climbing right up there. Would you say that is 42 inches or 43? (20 inches taller than a week ago!)
Here was the real shocker...
Some of them have flower buds developing! According to the "package directions," these babies should bloom on August 7th. We always have to factor in the weather, and Ted had originally thought they'd be late because of the uncharacteristically cool weather. (We had record lows in July!) Now he's thinking the excessive heat will make them early. It's a guessing game, folks!

Here's one with a bud forming. Not all of them are this far along, but since this one was, I thought it was finally a chance for a different sort of picture. Something to look at other than stems and leaves.

Now look closely! Don't be thinking that a walk through a sunflower field isn't itchy. Still, once they're blooming, it's so worth it.