But there are still a bunch of wild sunflowers around here and they really are very pretty. I've been bringing bouquets of them in the house to cheer up my kitchen and have had a chance to observe the "life of a sunflower". They go through stages as illustrated below:
On the right, you see a fresh sunflower. Notice how its center is dark brown. After a couple of days, the there are tiny little yellow flowers that "bloom" in the center. You can see these tiny flowers if you click on the picture to make it bigger. These little flowers produce copious amounts of pollen! See just a small portion of the pollen produced by a bouquet below. No wonder the bees love them!
The flower on the left in the first picture is on its last legs. The petals have shriveled and the flower is drying up.
It is wonderful to witness the life stages of animals and plants around the farm. This summer I've watched many black swallow-tail butterfly caterpillars chomping on my parsley. It is amazing how fast they grow. Other things take much longer to go through their life cycle. Since the weather is cooler, I've noticed just the slightest hint of red in some of the trees and bushes along the road. Soon they will drop their leaves and go to sleep for the winter. Then it will all start over next spring.