I love sunflowers. Always have.
And not just because Van Gogh is my favorite artist.
Or because I loved the focus on sunflowers in the great movie Calendar Girls (2003).
Sunflowers are just so impressive. So vibrant. So alive. So cheerful.
A couple years ago, I decided I wanted to find some fields of sunflowers, where I could stop and take some photos. A google search led me to some back roads near Dixon, California. Reviewers assured me, this was a good place to stop and photograph sunflowers. The best time to visit seemed to be June, but who knows what the drought was doing to the usual timing for the flowers.
Two years ago, I found the fields. The sunflowers were there, but they were just getting started. The plants had leaves but no flowers.
Last year, I was a bit too late. Oh, there were flowers, but they were past their prime, seeds gone, heads drooping.
This year, things turned out just right. Almost. The sunflowers were in bloom, just not yet at their prime. In a few weeks the fields would be glorious, but there were flowers to appreciate.
Maybe next time, I will get to the fields at the best time, when all the flowers are in full bloom. I might try again in a few weeks. Or maybe next year.
Quotes about Sunflowers
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“I don’t think there’s anything on this planet that more trumpets life than the sunflower. For me that’s because of the reason behind its name. Not because it looks like the sun but because it follows the sun. During the course of the day, the head tracks the journey of the sun across the sky. A satellite dish for sunshine. Wherever light is, no matter how weak, these flowers will find it. And that’s such an admirable thing. And such a lesson in life.” Helen Mirren as Chris in Calendar Girls
“Someone was sitting in front of a sunflower, watching the sunflower, a cup of sun, and so I tried it too. It was wonderful; I felt the whole universe in the sunflower. That was my experience. Sunflower meditation. A wonderful confidence appeared. You can see the whole universe in a flower.” Shunryu Suzuki
“The sunflower is mine, in a way.” Vincent Van Gogh
“I am working with the enthusiasm of a man from Marseilles eating bouillabaisse, which shouldn’t come as a surprise to you because I am busy painting huge sunflowers.” Vincent Van Gogh
“Despite knowing they won’t be here for long, they still choose to live their brightest lives—sunflowers.” Rupi Kaur
“Every friend is to the other a sun, and a sunflower also. He attracts and follows.” Jean Paul
“True friends are like bright sunflowers that never fade away, even over distance and time.” Marie Williams Johnstone
“If I were a flower, I would be a sunflower. To always follow the sun, turn my back to darkness, stand proud, tall and straight even with my head full of seeds.” Pam Stewart
“Flowers have an expression of countenance as much as men and animals. Some seem to smile; some have a sad expression; some are pensive and diffident; others again are plain, honest and upright, like the broad-faced sunflower and the hollycock.” Henry Ward Beecher
“Never look directly at the sun. Instead, look at the sunflower.” Vera Nazarian
“Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow. It is what sunflowers do.” Helen Keller