Sunday, August 24, 2008

Sunflower Sunday

I can't resist a little visual deja vu tonight and so I'm starting off with the same photo as yesterday, taken about the same time of day...but with a much more interesting array of clouds in the sky.

Weather-wise, it was another fantastic day, to complete a full weekend of them, with bright sunshine and temperatures in the 70s. Instead of just boring blue skies, we saw a cool variety of cloud types to make things a little more interesting.

Also today, this latest sunflower, now measuring in a little better than seven feet tall, has fully unfurled its giant flowerhead. You'll find I'm featuring it throughout today's post.

Can you blame me?

Down low at the feet of all these sunflowers are an ever-increasing array of bachelor's buttons.

I'm really pleased with how well they are growing this year and I will be sure to sow some of these seeds every year, now.

Remember last weekend, when I predicted that the seashell cosmos would probably start blooming by the start of last week? Ha ha, well, that shows you how much I know.

I guess I should have started these inside when I was getting the first sunflowers germinated. Perhaps they'd be well-blooming by now if I had.

These guys seem to have been hit with some sort of alien slow-motion ray...and while the buds seem to be puffing out nicely know, I'm hesitant to make any additional predictions.

I'll keep you posted.

Another seed success story has certainly been these morning glories. There've been so many different color combinations and these plants are so prolific and eager to draw everyone and everything around them in to sweet entanglement.

I guess it is late enough in the season to declare that the everlastings and statice were not to be counted among the season's successes.

I was sure I'd seen a few seedlings, but it seems they didn't pass that all-important survival test. Perhaps in a different setting they'd do better.

I spotted this little grass hopper flitting about inside the fence border this morning. While I wasn't able to get close without him leaping away, he did indulge me enough to hit his lighting mark on this shasta daisy leaf so I could zoom in for a better look at him...or her.

Emily and I had an enjoyable walk this evening, after a few nights off due to commitments at work. It was a beautiful night and she was eager to set off on our walk around Not Wisteria Lane.

We saw a few bits of early fall color as we made our way. Little reminders that the season before us is reaching its final days and the changes of a new season will be on us before we know it.

Which is to say it was just the right time for a walk.

A pair of pugs decided to come out to greet us this evening. There's a black one who paces back and forth across his yard as we pass by on a few evening's recently.

Tonight, that dog was joined by a second and it became clear that - while they are little dogs - two pugs is all they need to have together in order to think they can do the impossible. I was sort of incredulous as the two of them came marching out, shoulder to shoulder, to approach Emily (and probably give her a piece of their little minds about having poo-ed across the street from their house).

I was able to keep her back from them - no easy feat - as she would probably consider the little nuisances little more than a cocktail frank. Their person came out to encourage the two of them to stand down and we were on our way again.

Although the sun was sinking when we returned from our sojourn, there was still some nice light to look at a few things in the garden.

The sunflowers are just getting out of hand, now, but it a great way. They are certainly grabbing hold of my multi-colored color scheme and making it seem overly- yellow.

Of course, the cosmos continuing delay in blooming is enhancing that, as well.

I'd just like to point out that in this photo above, the latest sunflower is taller than the sun.

The cleome flowers are wonderful, but I don't find that they last especially long. I have been collecting seed from them for next year, as they have been very easy to grow and I am a big fan of these open airy flowers.

This flower represents the start of a second wave of blooming; you may recall I seeded these guys into the garden in waves back in springtime.

Tonight we saw the flash and the spectacle of the Closing ceremonies of the 23rd Olympiad in Beijing. It really was an exciting and spectacular two weeks of games this year. So many world records broken.

I didn't get to watch much of the coverage yesterday until pretty late last night, as I enjoyed one of those Midori coladas at the restaurant bar after a busy night of work.

I guess it makes sense they save Table Tennis for the last night, but really, that's not one of the sports they could make available online, instead? It felt like a little bit of an anti-climax. I'd be much more interested in the equestrian or kayak/canoe events. But the cross-country mountain bike race was pretty interesting.

I wasn't able to watch the Men's 10M Platform Diving, but I was excited to hear the news that Australian diver Matthew Mitcham won the gold medal. Mitcham is the only one of over 10,000 athletes competing who has declared himself as gay.

I'd like to think his success in Beijing may make it a little easier for other athletes to consider being more open themselves.

Anyway, it was cool news and, I thought, a nice way to bring the two weeks of excitement to a close.

It's a little bit of a relief that the games are over. I don't think I'll have any trouble sleeping through the Democratic convention after all the Olympic late-nights.

Back in the garden, this clump of yellow snapdragons has begun a second wave of blooming, it's yellow flowers sweetly scenting the air nearby with a tasty citrus-y fragrance. I was amused by this tiny spider hanging out inside one of the flowers, no doubt lying in wait for some even smaller insect pollinator.

I enjoyed these clouds as they reflected the light of the sunset these evening. Really fantastic looking, although they are the sort of thing that puts us all - our persons, our homes, our neighborhoods - into perpective, as these grand beautiful moments happen on such a large scale overhead.

Of course, the dusky clouds were a great backdrop for that new sunflower. And the chance of rain in the forecast for tomorrow would be a wonderful boost to all the other sunflowers still only just starting to bloom.

A break from the watering schedule is always nice. I do the best I can, but really, my best efforts just can't compare with a nice natural fall of rain.


dykewife said...

this late blooming of your garden certainly contains a lot of yellow. not that there are not other colours but in the longer shots it's hard to see anything but yellow.

i love the riot that is your garden and hope to have a few like that some day.

MartininBroda said...

What a lovely place you’ve created to celebrate Sunday. Especially the last picture has such a (should I say “psychedelic”) beauty, great clouds and sunflowers(seems it's dreaming).

PS said...

Lovely Pictures and music.

Jess said...

Love the Emily photo, and I'm glad Emily's work commitments didn't keep you two from having a walk this time! ;)

The pugs remind me of the first time my brother's Jack Russell Terrier pup met Bernice. Bernice is a 65lb. shepherd-doberman mix. The Jack Russell immediately charged at her, trying to put her in her place. Bernice just stood there and looked down at the Jack Russell with a look that clearly was the doggy equivalent of, "what the hell is this?" It was very funny! :)

tornwordo said...

I love the clouds and the virga hanging down.

Java said...

The snapdragons are lovely. I wish I could smell them. But I think my favorite is the soft pink morning golry. It's barely pink.

T.R. said...

Oh those sunflowers! My favorite I hope I coming home to a plot full at the end of the week and if they remotely look like these - I will be thrilled.

I thought you might like the closing. I took a few shots with you in mind. We were a little disappointed as it was cut an hour short and was more serious than past ones. But you probably saw much, much more on television than we did in the stadium.

I still can't get over how much there is to see here. Bravo!

Anonymous said...

For the height they reach and the size the flower becomes, the sunflower has got to be one of the fastest-growing. My neighbor has quite a few which seem to be of a different variety where the petal are quite thin and few.

Bird said...

Beautiful pictures as ever from Not Wisteria Lane, and you are so right about the sky. I have to get myself a clear view of the sky at least once a day to feel right.

Jenn Thorson said...

You get some lovely shots of teeny-tiny bugs... it's that marvelous world around us that less attuned folks might miss entirely-- where you pinpoint and pic it. :)

DougT said...

Nice snapdragons!

somewhere joe said...

The Olympic 10 meter platform competition is always a highlight for me. I was surprised, like everybody else, and delighted that Matt Mitcham won the gold on that stunning last dive.There were a number of nail-biter last-minute upsets this year... Matt's, Jason Lezak's nick-of-time pull ahead of the French (nyah nyah) in the 4 x 100 relay, Sanya Richards' in the women's 4 x 400...

Beijing set a new standard of beauty, as well as breaking a number of records. Every venue was gorgeous. The games have a great website too. Halfway through the closing ceremonies, though, it all started to seem a bit inhuman, if beautiful. Ironic, since most of the effects derived from the staging and manipulation of human bodies... which had become essentially pixels. Still, there's no denying the achievement of the Chinese. It shouldn't surprise anyone if they come to dominate the 21st century.

What a striking sunflower, Greg. Even if it does look a tad... Chinese. ,oD

Greg said...

DW, the sunflowers certainly have wrested control of my balanced color scheme this year! I wish you floral chaos, always!

Martin, that last sunflower shot is a little trippy. I thought the background had a just a touch of Van Gogh about it.

Thanks, PS--your photos are pretty delightful, too, especially your hawk shots!

Jess, it's sometimes a little tedious for me, sitting around all day, waiting for her to get home from work. Doesn't she know I have to pee? But I guess she needs to be able to pay for all those fruit juices and poptarts and pizzas... ; )

Torn, you sent me on a Wiki-hunt, so thanks for the education (plus, now I'm not embarrassed as I read your comment: "Excuse me, my WHAT'S hanging down?")!

Java, until we can work out this business of an internet-supported smell-o-vision, any garden blog will be a feeble representation. Glad you enjoy the pics, tho!

Afod, today's featured sunflower was planted in place around the first or second week of June, so you are probably right!

Bird, seeing the sky--especially one like this--puts you in the right frame of mind for life, I think.

Jenn, it's the little things in life that make it so interesting. This tiny spider's whole world is that one snapdragon stalk--to him, we are like the ocean!

Hey, Doug! Glad to see you are enjoying your visit to the Vineyard!

Joe, you're absolutely right--these were truly amazing games and for so many different reasons. Interesting observation about the pixilization of humanity!

I've looked closer and there it is, stamped right on the side of the sunflower stalk: made in China. (It may well have roots going down so deep!)

COMING SOON: more dragonfly love!

: )

Kelly said...

I keep changing my desktop picture to one of the new sunflower pics. I think this one that is the duplicate of yesterday is one of my favorites so far. Thank you darling, you have more than indulged my sunflower fetish. I owe you... HugsXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Butch said...

I love the spider waiting for his next meal and I am not sure we have grasshoppers where I live. I haven't seen one in the seventeen years or so we've lived here.

Nice photos, by the way.

Robin Easton said...

Oh wow! I think these are some of your best photos. I loved that first and second one and then the ones with the deepening blue sky with the peachy-pink clouds feathered across them are just stunning.

And of course your flowers are ALWAYS gorgeous. Your garden along the fence is simply magical and makes your whole place. Has edges of the English garden look because it's so thick with flowers.

I also was stunned that the leaves are starting to turn, but of course I should remember that. They are a little slower here, and then we have mainly golden aspen. I hope it is a memorable year this year. I will try and get some good photos or video of it. When it's a good year is is ASTOUNDING. Although I do miss the reds and oranges of Maine.

Great post Greg...but them they always are. :) :) Hugs to you my friend and I hope you are doing well.