I think that there is a reason that the artist Van Gogh was so fascinated with sunflowers. They present so many shapes and textures and colors; they present an ever changing subject, as they grow from seedlings, to presenting vivid green buds which bloom into flowers of such astonishing yellows, sometimes flecked with white, which then dry into a palette of sunset oranges, and finally to the brown hues of autumn and decay. The face of a mature sunflower, itself, bears long contemplation with its cover of tiny flower like structures which hide the seeds, so precisely and concentrically packed.
I do not know if the finches appreciate their geometry, but they sure do appreciate their seeds, sometimes using the back of a sunflower as a makeshift table, leaving the empty shells strewn upon it. I only have pictures of male finches here, but there were females as well and some doves, dragonflies, and a sighting through the viewfinder, though not a photographic capture, of a hummingbird. It seems the time of the bees has largely passed but there were several still, well, busily doing their duty for the hive.
Photographically speaking I feel about sunflowers much the same way that I feel about the Gateway Arch in St. Louis: that it is hard to take a bad picture of either and I never tire of trying to capture their simple elegance. And when it is a whole field of sunflowers in the middle of a city and thousands of bees and bumblebees are buzzing about and the setting sun is dipping down out of a bank of clouds on a humid summer’s evening, well then it all becomes a veritable Eden.
That is all to say that there are a lot of pictures here! I hope you may enjoy them. Be sure to catch the one of the cheeky bee sticking out his proboscis. And look for the moment when the hour truly became golden when the sun peaked out from behind the clouds. To learn more about this project, see the last picture or check out their website. And here is a story on the project from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Finally, the great numbers of bees were so heartening to see because they are really in trouble and that may be bad news for all of us. Finally, finally, apologies to Khaled Hosseini for the modified plagiarizing in the blog title. It was just too perfect not to steal.