Sunflower Forest...

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WAYNO
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Sunflower Forest...

Post by WAYNO »

I've been in my house 25 years. Used to be, I'd plant sunflowers each year, just because I love them. It's been a long time since I've planted any. I no longer need to, as the birds do all the seed-planting for me. Every sunflower in this photo was planted by them. 8)

Perfect Creation. The birds know to plant them, the plants know when to grow and when to turn to seed. The flowers even know to follow the sun throughout the day, every day. And the next morning, the flowers are back to looking East, knowing the sun will soon be warming them.

Image
Badger Matt
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Re: Sunflower Forest...

Post by Badger Matt »

Very nice!
Mike Armstrong
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Re: Sunflower Forest...

Post by Mike Armstrong »

One of my favorite plants, especially the self-planting ones! Thought to have been the first agricultural food crop in the Americas (proven at a Mexican site by some very convincing--and lucky--archeological evidence).

In Spanish they're called "tornasoles" or "girasoles" because of that daily adjustment to get the maximum sunlight. But does anyone know WHY they do that? Flowers don't turn solar energy into chemical energy thru photosynthesis like leaves, do they?

Maximum pollinator attraction? Just to make us wonder?
WAYNO
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Re: Sunflower Forest...

Post by WAYNO »

Mike Armstrong wrote:One of my favorite plants, especially the self-planting ones! Thought to have been the first agricultural food crop in the Americas (proven at a Mexican site by some very convincing--and lucky--archeological evidence).

In Spanish they're called "tornasoles" or "girasoles" because of that daily adjustment to get the maximum sunlight. But does anyone know WHY they do that? Flowers don't turn solar energy into chemical energy thru photosynthesis like leaves, do they?

Maximum pollinator attraction? Just to make us wonder?


This caused me to do at least a little research. And apparently there's at least a little dissension between learned individuals about why sunflowers follow the sun.

I always presumed the flowers followed the sun to capture energy for photosynthesis. And I did read at least one little paragraph agreeing with me. But most paragraphs suggest they follow the sun to attract the most bees. Warm flowers make happy bees. Happy bees are busy bees. Busy bees visit more flowers. :wink:

I wake up very early. It's a curse. I go out in the yard to water in the early AM, and visit the flowers while I'm at it. I've discovered the bees are already visiting the sunflowers at the very earliest light. I've discovered also, the bees don't give up until it's past dusk. And sometimes the bees stay interested in the sunflowers until it's too late, and things cool off, including the bees. Then they are kind've trapped on the flower until morning. Cool bees turn dormant easily.

I've also discovered, more little flying insects, bugs, whatever, are attracted to sunflowers than my other flowers. A sunflower at any time might play host to multiple species of flying insects simultaneously. Honey bees, bumble bees, flies, unidentified bees, will harvest pollen on the same flower at the same time. And wasps have an interest in the leaves. Sugar?

My tomatoes are struggling to produce this year. Plenty of blossoms, but while I have hundreds of bees at a given moment on my sunflower crop, I might have none on my tomato blossoms. An old farmer might know this. Bees apparently turn their noses up at tomato blossoms when there's sunflowers nearby.
HAWKEYE#28
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Re: Sunflower Forest...

Post by HAWKEYE#28 »

Love this and the tutorial! 8)
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Mike Armstrong
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Re: Sunflower Forest...

Post by Mike Armstrong »

I'm inclined to the "attract more pollinators" theory on the basis of WAYNO's observations. And members of the sunflower family are really good at all stages of reproduction; ask anyone who fights with dandelions, who have their own airforce! (I think the family is called "Asteracea" or something like that now--when I studied that stuff about the time dinosaurs stalked the earth, they were called "Compositae").

When I was working at University of Idaho in the early 1980s, the ag engineering students modified an old Ford tractor to run on sunflower oil (big crop in ID in those days). It ran fine and smelled like the popcorn machine in lobby of a movie theater (remember those?).
Highstandardguy
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Re: Sunflower Forest...

Post by Highstandardguy »

When I was a kid I planted sunflowers to feed my hamster Meeces. I was a big fan of Tom and Jerry.
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WAYNO
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Re: Sunflower Forest...

Post by WAYNO »

Highstandardguy wrote:When I was a kid I planted sunflowers to feed my hamster Meeces. I was a big fan of Tom and Jerry.


As a kid, I raised hamsters and sold them to the local pet store. I never once thought of growing my own food for them. Great idea! 8)
WAYNO
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Re: Sunflower Forest...

Post by WAYNO »

I will now cause just a little thread drift here.

While I was taking pictures of my flowers, I heard this noisy old bird flying high over my sunflowers. I snapped a photo.
Image


Zooming in, I was able to identify this beautiful old bird, a DC-3. :mrgreen:
Image
Ale-8(1)
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Re: Sunflower Forest...

Post by Ale-8(1) »

WAYNO wrote:I will now cause just a little thread drift here.


Hey, it's your thread! :mrgreen: :wink: :mrgreen:
I^3
rugerguy
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Re: Sunflower Forest...

Post by rugerguy »

very nice picture, we have large fields of sunflowers over near us, prayers for Maria,in Avon ,Ohio
https://www.prayersfrommaria.org/marias ... pe-avon-oh


and I swear I flew that same plane. late in the summer of 1965 to Lackland,AFB., Texas........ :shock:
wings flapping, and flames coming out of the engines... 8) :roll: :wink:
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Mike Armstrong
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Re: Sunflower Forest...

Post by Mike Armstrong »

Like the best Rugers, the DC-3/C-47 proves that the term "over-engineered" should be stricken from the language. How about "made to last"?
Bear Paw Jack
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Re: Sunflower Forest...

Post by Bear Paw Jack »

This is the first year we've put out a bird feeder. The first few bags we bought had sunflower seeds in it. Not sure whether or not the birds appreciated it, but I won't be surprised it some sunflowers peak out their heads next spring.
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