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Friday, August 07, 2015

Stories from the Farm - Saga of the Sunflower Seeds

This little farm story starts with a Christmas gift a few years ago:

One Christmas I got a cute sunflower-seed bird-feeder in the shape of a snowman from my daughter. I hung it on a tree by the driveway to feed the winter birds.

That next summer, up pops a magnificent volunteer sunflower in my horse-hitch flower bed, close to where the bird feeder hung

One day after the sunflower matured and went to seed (sometime in July),  I noticed a little goldfinch absorbed in eating the sunflower's seeds. I was able to get close enough to take this photo. 
A few weeks later, the seeds were all gone!
So fast forward to this summer of 2015:

In 2015 I put the bird-feeder out again to feed the winter birds. This summer two more sunflowers popped up in my horsehitch flower bed, two popped up in  the flower bed next to it, and two sunflowers popped up in my back-porch planter! I suspect the sunflowers in the planter resulted from our habit of throwing the winter's leftover sunflower seeds off the back porch to the chickens. People don't usually have sunflowers in their porch planters, but for some reason I decided to just let these flowers grow. As you can see, they got very tall!

With so many sunflowers, the goldfinches were very busy this summer, as you can imagine. Watching them kept Ben and me very entertained as we sat out in the back yard in the afternoons and early evenings.  I especially enjoyed catching a glimpse of the birds from my big kitchen window as they fed from the sunflowers in the back-porch planter. 
They would hang upside down on the sunflower, fish out the seed, then perch on top of the flower to crack the hulls.

So I kept my camera handy and one day, I took most of the close-ups of the goldfinch through the big kitchen window by standing hopefully where he would not notice me, but where I could still see him.

And here is all that is left of this back-porch sunflower's seeds!
Happy backyard gardening and bird-watching!

Until next time,


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