The Sunflower

Sunflower and the Bee

I found the sunflower I had dried last year hanging from the inside clothesline half eaten by cockatoos and the rest eaten by some sort of rodent, maybe a rat. Excitedly, and rashly, I decided to plant the few seeds that were clinging on looking mournfully at me.

A few sunflower grew along the fence

A fence line of sunflowers was what I envisaged, but what eventuated was a few on one corner, a couple in the middle and a straggly three further up. So much for my seeds.

One sunflower grew very beautiful and tall and strong

I was happy with my sunflowers and started looking at them daily and marveling at how they followed the sun. I started blogging with their progress and drove everyone crazy dragging them down to see my sunflowers.

The sunflower grew and grew

Then the miracle happened. A sunflower in the next bundle decided to star and it started to grow and grow until it was the size of a small plate. Now I was totally smitten.

Bees loved the sunflower too

I do not know exactly how many photos I took of this sunflower from all angles,but I assure you it was many. I started posting the progress of my beauty on every site I could and then when a glut was reached, I started photographing the bees that visited the flower. There were bees inside the sunflower, bees hovering, bees carrying bags of pollen in their knee bags and even multiple bees seeking the best part of the flower. I was now besotted with bees as well as the sunflower that

Bee in the sunflower

continued to bloom with the seeds forming and starting to ripen.

Alas, now comes the sad part, I discovered I had a rival for my affection, not one but many. The cockatoos also fell in love with my sunflower, but they had a sinister motive, they wanted to eat it.

The watcher Cockatoo checking if the coast is clear

Rather than give them the flower to destroy, I cut it off and placed it in a blue crystal vase on top of my fridge where it sat dropping pollen for the next few weeks.

Sunflower drying inside

You would think this is the end but its not. There were buds below the main flower, and they now started to bloom, and the cockatoos came to chip down the buds and leave them lying on the ground .

Cockatoo eating a bud from the sunflower
Cockatoos prefer to eat seeds, tuberscorms, fruit, flowers and insects. They often feed in large flocks, particularly when ground-feeding.

Today, I cut down all the budding sunflowers, pulled them out by the roots and put them in the bin for collection tomorrow morning. The cockatoos were taking over the garden and I decided that next year I will plant sunflowers down the bottom of the garden and let the birds eat them.

Sunflowers in my garden

Marguerite Carstairs   

Published by Ladymaggic

Artist, Traveller, Researcher and Writer, currently living in Australia where I photograph and share experiences and events as I travel. Travel photos and videos about many places in Australia​ and the world

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