There is nothing quite as cheerful as a sunflower. The cheery yellow heads filled with seeds make me smile every time I see them. They have become so popular that there are often dwarf varieties that grace floral bouquets. I absolutely love them.
Which is why I convinced (it didn’t take too much talking) Chris to go to Biltmore Estate to see the field of sunflowers that I had seen in pictures that others had shared.
We found one field but I suspect there might be other fields on the grounds. We just stopped so I could pop out and take a few shots of these beauties. It was muddy and soggy and I did not have appropriate foot wear so I didn’t walk in too far but I did manage to get a few shots.
Did you know that young sunflowers track the sun, also referred to as heliotropism? A young sunflower’s face follows the sun from sunrise to sunset every day and repeats the cycle until maturity. Once the sunflower matures it faces east. Once they face east they attract more pollinators and warm up faster which attracts those pollinators.
The head of the sunflower is actually thousands of tiny flowers. The petals around the outside are called ray florets, and they cannot reproduce. But the disc florets in the middle, where the seeds develop, have both male and female sex organs, and each produce a seed. The sunflower can self pollinate. They can pollinate by pollen blown through the wind or by insects as well.
I love how the sunflowers follow the sun until they are “mature”. You know I always see great God lessons in things and I could not not see some connection in sunflowers. As a Christian I strive to follow the “Son” and bend towards the light rather than the darkness. The sunflowers are a perfect example of how that occurs in nature. In my own life I know that I am still maturing in my faith – it is a life long journey of learning and yielding to God’s leading in my life. Recognizing that He is the true Sun and that I need to seek my direction from Him is something I work on every single day of my life.
Isn’t life amazing? Nature never ceases to amaze me and a simple walk through a sunflower field made me realize that each day is a gift to cherish. Whether it is taking a drive through a beautiful estate or just sitting on the deck quietly reading a book I am so blessed to be alive. Yes, these are indeed challenging times, but strength comes from above and from taking care of ourselves in every way. So please take care of yourselves and take a hint from the sunflowers and follow the Light.