Up Close – to a sunflower. I liked the almost heart shaped center. The addition of the bug(s) were just topping. This is another flower from the Sweetfield Farms. I didn’t want to do a macro shot, but wanted to be up close to the flower and show the detail without using a macro lens. I did center in on the center of the flower and did not worry about cutting off the petals. And no, I did not take out the imperfections in the petals – it is nature.
I know someone else had already posted a sandhill crane for Pretty Baby and I had hoped to get some other critters for the subject, but that was not to be. It still is a pretty baby. As it was, my little chick was nearing the end as you can see the grey was already starting. I converted the photo to black and white and then just let the color of the chick and the parents red head crests to stay.
In doing a little research, once the egg is laid, it is incubated for 30 days until it hatches. The chicks reach independence in 9 to 10 months and will only stay with their parents for about 2 months prior to the parents having another brood. After leaving their parents they flock together with other juveniles.
There is a attraction in Akaroa, New Zealand called “The Giant’s House”. The artist is Josie Martin and she purchased this house which was built in the 1800s. She had the hillside next to the house terraced so she could put in a garden and they found lots of broken porcelain pieces from the 17 – 1800s buried there. She took those pieces and a lot more and created this larger than life wonder garden of mosaics. Her art sculptures decorate the gardens. These are two of the stairways in the gardens.
There is an art gallery on the property as well. She is a very creative artist. Please check out her page – http://www.thegiantshouse.co.nz/default.asp?page=josie
I am not ready to write my own book, but if I were, the title would be – “Sunny Outlook – from a Pessimist’s point of view”. There are days that I am a glass half empty type of person. Having worked for companies that were sold, I have had to deal with the moving of companies, and down sizing ( commonly called Restructuring). My work in Information Technology is logical but very stressful. I use photography to help me keep a Sunny Outlook and remember there is still a glass half full.
As a side note – the sunflowers are from Sweetfield Farms in Masaryktown, FL. They have a sunflower maze around May, and a corn maze in the fall. They sell organic vegetables as well. Unfortunately, with the storms we have been having the past week, a large part of the sunflower maze was knocked down due to the wind or the water which flooded part of the maze. There were still flowers standing but not a lot in a cluster for the type of photograph I was hoping for. Next year need to check them out in early May.
More on Sunflowers. I read that Native Americans planted sunflowers on the north end of their gardens. Sunflowers can be used to remove some toxins from the soil, such as lead, arsenic and uranium. They were used to remove caesium-137 and strontium-90 from a nearby pond after the Chernobyl disaster. Sunflower products include the seeds, oil, latex (yes they can get latex from sunflowers), and the oil made from the husks for livestock feed. Sunflower heads do not follow the sun across the sky – but you might notice young plants seem to be doing this, it is just as the head grows it turns towards the east – adult plants do not. But the head will point East. Yes – East. There are wild varieties that have more than 1 flower head, but the ones we usually recognize only have 1 flower head. The tallest recorded sunflower was 27 feet (8.23 m). Wow think of what was needed to keep it upright.
The sunflower is the state flower of Kansas and the national flower of the Ukraine. Van Gogh did a series of paintings with the subject of Sunflowers.