Isolation Antidotes (23): Here Come the Sun(flowers)!

This past week New Zealand’s Prime Minister reduced our risk status to Level 2, so things are slowly returning more closely to what used to be “normal.” However, we remain very cautious and plan to continue to be, until such time as it’s much safer to be casually out and about. In the meantime, it’s a beautiful, sunny Sunday morning here, and I’d like to  tap a more recent section of the archives and post a pair of nice, colorful offerings for you.
In late July 2015 we made a drive from our cabin up to Baudette, Minnesota, on the southern shore of the Rainy River, which serves as part of the border with Canada. We were driving around the area in the fading light of the late afternoon, we came across a fabulous field of sunflowers. I had hitherto thought that they regularly turn their faces toward the sun, wherever it happens to be in the sky, but these—as you can clearly see—were facing away from it. When we returned the next morning for another look, they were all still facing the same way, although the sun was rising in the east. I have always loved sunflowers. How could one not? (Click on a photo if you’d like an enlarged image.)

About krikitarts

Welcome to Krikit Arts! I'm a veterinarian; photographer; finger-style guitarist, composer, instructor, and singer/songwriter; fisherman; and fly-tyer. Please enjoy--and please respect my full rights to all photos on this Website!
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16 Responses to Isolation Antidotes (23): Here Come the Sun(flowers)!

  1. Vicki says:

    What an amazing sight.

    This reminds me of 1976 when I was on a 9-week camping tour of central Europe and we crossed the border into Turkey. I vaguely remember large fields of sunflowers which I’d never seen before.

    When I saw your photos I was so surprised when you didn’t say they were from Europe.

    Thanks for sharing and I’m glad you took the photo from that angle as it makes the field so much more magnificent in size. (I also thought sunflowers turned to face the sun).

    • krikitarts says:

      1976 was the year I graduated from the university in Berlin, and how nice to know that your European tour coincided with that! Yes, the chance to experience a whole field of sunflowers is a world apart from admiring just a few planted in isolation, and walking into one is entering into another dimension. And when you’re in it, it’s so overwhelming that it takes a while to get a little objective and begin to see the smaller perspectives and possibilities within the glorious surrounding pageant.

  2. Such happy sunflowers. A beautiful sight to see. 😃

    • krikitarts says:

      You’re right, Sylvia, and I think that most folks, if asked to name the happiest flower they can think of, might well come up with the sunflower as their first choice. And when you can find a whole field of them, the happiness just seems to swell exponentially.

  3. Peter Klopp says:

    Wow! These sunflower fields are real eye-catchers. Thanks for pulling the photos out of your archives!

  4. shoreacres says:

    The photos are wonderful: so sunny and bright. They remind me of the fields in Kansas.

    Your mention of the Rainy River did stir a story from my past. Our family often went to Leech Lake to fish in the summer. One year, we went farther north so that I could have the experience of being in another country for the first time. We crossed the border into Canada, poked around, and at the end of one day couldn’t find any place to stay. We ended up in the town of Rainy River, in a hotel with rooms above a bar. I remember the flashing neon sign outside the window, the sounds of the brawl downstairs, and my dad jamming a chair under the room’s doorknob. I don’t remember my mother’s reaction to all this. Every time I brought it up to her, she’d just roll her eyes and say, “I’m not going to talk about it.”

    • krikitarts says:

      Well, Linda, here are another couple of fortuitous coincidences: Our cabin is only about a 10-minute drive from Leech Lake, and there’s a good chance that CD and I had a meal in the very Rainy River hotel bar you’re describing. When we were there, five years ago, there were half a dozen or so picture windows overlooking the small marina and the lovely river. Sorry I can’t remember its name, but what a peaceful spot!

  5. I am very pleased your covid-19 threat has been reduced there. Your government seems to have handled the crisis better than most others. These are wonderful, fix in a frame and hang on the wall in a prime location pair of vistas, Gary. I love sunflowers and moody skies and you have them together in these very fine shots. Full kudos and applause to you!

    • krikitarts says:

      I thank you for the high compliment, Pete! I felt a real thrill when we came upon this field, and the dramatic sky behind it was a very fortunate bonus. I just love it when it all comes together like that! The lighting conditions were challenging enough, though, that I bracketed all my shots at least three times, knowing that I’d be using HDR to keep enough detail in both the highlights and the shadows. I couldn’t wait to process these, and I’m very happy with the results. In fact, I think I’ll revisit the whole sequence and see if I can find another buried treasure (I only processed these two from the series).

  6. These are excellent pictures of cultivated sunflowers.

    Irish poet Thomas Moore put the belief in a turning sunflower into a famous poem; the relevant stanza goes:

    No, the heart that has truly lov’d never forgets,
    But as truly loves on to the close,
    As the sunflower turns on her god when he sets,
    The same look which she turn’d when he rose.

    Neltje Blanchan, known as Nellie, was an American popularizer of nature from the early 20th century whose books, though largely overlooked today, are well worth looking over. In Nature’s Garden she called Moore’s statement pretty but she immediately added, with calculated understatement, that it “lacks only truth to make it fact. The flower does not travel daily on its stalk from east to west. Often the top of the stem turns sharply toward the light to give the leaves better exposure, but the presence or absence of a terminal flower affects its action not at all.”

    The latest info I’ve found says that sunflower buds may be somewhat phototropic.

    • krikitarts says:

      It must be a sort of folk myth or old-wives’ tale, but I had long thought that some, at least, were able to turn their faces sunward. There was a science fiction book I really enjoyed many years ago, in which there was a field of flowers that turned–not to catch the sun, but rather to reflect it–at an airborne vehicle traveling overhead, and the effect was like what happens to something on a sidewalk whey you concentrate the sunlight onto it with a magnifying glass. I think the author might have been Larry Niven, but I’m not sure, and I don’t have time to try to look it up.

  7. That’s a wonderful sunflower landscape. At first I would have thought the flowers were not facing the sun because the sky had been overcast most of the day. I don’t know whether that would be the case. Every once in a while I find a field like that where they are facing the sun and just one is not. Rebellious youth I imagine.

    • krikitarts says:

      Thanks a lot, Steve. From the informative conversations, it seems more likely that the rebel might be the one to actually face the sun in its youthful independence.

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