sunflower harvest time

8.1.20 ~ Buttonwood Farm, Griswold, Connecticut

We haven’t really done much to celebrate the First Harvest (Lughnasa, Lammas) in recent years. But I’m finding myself looking forward to the Celtic seasonal festivals again, as a way to acknowledge the passage of time in more even segments during this long-lasting pandemic. So we decided to visit Buttonwood Farm for the sunflower harvest. ‘Twas good to get out of the house and go for a scenic drive.

Due to the high demand earlier in the week and the continued heat and dry field conditions we have an extremely limited amount of sunflowers available to cut. The walking field is still open although the flowers are past their peak.
~ Buttonwood Farm website

July was terribly hot and dry in spite of the oppressive humidity. Not sure how that works. Even the sun loving sunflowers weren’t happy. But I enjoyed capturing them in these less-than-glorious poses. There is beauty to be found everywhere, including in “past their prime.” (I know! I’m a little bit zen, a little bit pagan, a little bit transcendentalist…)

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
(Crooked Cucumber: The Life & Teaching of Shunryu Suzuki)

It’s kind of amazing how many different sizes and shapes sunflowers come in. Like people. There were lots of people there, perhaps only half of them wearing masks. A few weren’t repsecting social distancing at all and we found ourselves darting away from a few animated groups of folks who seemed oblivious to our presence. Tim thinks some of them may have been deliberately harassing those of us wearing masks. I hope it isn’t so.

On the other hand, there were some families with well-behaved children wearing masks, doing their best to politely keep apart from others. I found myself wondering how they will make out when they return to school come autumn, if the schools still plan to open by then.

There was a one-way path through the middle of the field but we didn’t dare take it, not knowing how the people ahead of or behind us might behave. We stuck to the perimeter and enjoyed getting lots of close-ups of the flowers.

I never noticed how pretty the back of a sunflower head is before!

We are the Flower — Thou the Sun!
Forgive us, if as days decline —
We nearer steal to Thee!

~ Emily Dickinson
(The Poems of Emily Dickinson, #161)

Tim’s computers weren’t communicating with each other properly so after supper he started working on them while I watched a bittersweet movie I hadn’t seen in years, Dancing at Lughnasa, with Meryl Streep. A perfect way to end the magical day.

We now have 151 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our town. Our county (New London) has 1,402 confirmed cases. Of those 2 are still in the hospital and 103 have lost their lives. Even though the numbers aren’t skyrocketing here they are still going up slowly, so we’re still playing it safe and staying home, except for walks.

I am so relieved to learn that my granddaughter’s school in North Carolina will be in session remotely until January at least. It’s good to know that common sense has prevailed, at least in her district.

20 thoughts on “sunflower harvest time”

  1. “Sunflower meditation” … I love it! Sunflowers are the happiest of flowers, even when harsh weather beats them about a bit. And I think I’d enjoy Dancing at Lughnasa too. πŸ™‚

    Stay safe, Barbara. xxx

    1. The words “sunny disposition” come to my mind when I think of sunflowers. πŸ™‚ (Even though yellow is one of my least favorite colors, sunflowers seem to wear it well.) We’re doing our best to stay safe. You too, my friend. β™‘

  2. Loved this.Our surroundings and regulations are so different. Much less illnesses here where i live, in a suburban village in Norway. Very few masks-and sunflowers. So great to see all the different flowers

    1. Welcome to my blog, Nina. Are you friends with or related to Leelah? (I notice you have the same avatar…) Sadly, many Americans are stubborn and stupid and can’t seem to accept the facts regarding this virus, making things much worse for all of us. πŸ™

        1. Ah, that explains it! I will definitely google your pen name and see what you’ve written. πŸ™‚

          1. πŸ™‚ I just ordered “Hilaryon Stories: The Botany of Loss & Longing & White Hares” and am looking forward to reading it. Following you on Amazon, too.

  3. Such a pleasure to share your walks and photos. Glad you are staying safe. I think anyone out in public without a mask should be fined, and sent home to be under house arrest for at least a week.

    1. So good to hear from you again, Liz! β™‘ I agree with you 100%. Unfortunately, there is no cure for selfishness and these people are so unwilling to make any sacrifices for their fellow human beings. Hope you are staying safe… *hugs*

  4. I’m jealous of your sunflower farm experience. I adore sunflowers but cannot, cannot grow them here. Every spring I have high hopes [no pun intended] and every summer not one seed takes hold long enough to grow. That being whined about, I love your photos and am pleased that you shared them here. Thank you. Good news about your granddaughter’s school district, too. Happy to read that.

    1. So sorry you’ve had such bad luck with sunflowers. I tried them in my garden just once and they didn’t grow and that was the end of that. But that was my gardening style back then. If flowers liked the accomodations I gave them they were welcome to stay and I’d plant them again the next year. I couldn’t be bothered fussing over ones who demanded more attention or different growing conditions! These days I don’t plant anything, just mulch around the bushes and tree. πŸ™‚

  5. Beautiful sunflowers … I haven’t seen many here this year… about 70% of people here wear masks. Most businesses enforce/educate about social distancing. I think COVID fatigue is a real thing and something we need to remind ourselves about. I think of masks as a fashion statement ( not to trivialize it but to make myself more aware) and love it when I see outfits coordinated etc.

    1. It’s understandable, people are tired of being cooped up (although as a homebody I don’t think this bothers me as much as it does my restless neighbors…), jaded from being so careful all the time, fed up with social distancing, and exhausted from never-ending fear and anxiety. So many have become utterly careless and that’s alarming. Sigh. I wish more people would follow your example and use the masks as a fashion accessory!

  6. Every sunflower farm makes me want to visit one even more – I will keep the beauty of these sunflowers, no matter the angle, no matter if they are past prime as you stated, in my mind during the Winter months … something to think about. August is still a while off. I don’t blame you for staying on the perimeter – that was why I got lost at Crosswinds Marsh … things were getting crowded on the overlook as people brought strollers and dogs – lots of dogs on that long walkway. So I left to be away from the crowds. I was never big on crowds to begin with – even less nowadays. I went one Black Friday to a mall to see what it was like – I wasn’t there long and never again. I don’t buy gifts for anyone anyway – no reason to be going to a mall.

    1. Like you, I was never big on crowds and even less so these days. (In fact I am the quintessential homebody!) It was strange how the stress of being around reckless people was balanced with the stark beauty of nature out in the sunshine. Sigh. This memory will stick with me and I’m so glad we went. Thanks for visiting all these older posts, Linda. You are so kind to wander down memory lane with me. β™‘

      1. I am a homebody too Barbara and even when my mom was alive – it was just us after my grandmother died in 1986 and my aunt died a few years later. So just us. I may go out on walks and chat it up with people, but once I’m home – that’s it. I’d rather be at home, even pre-pandemic, more so now. The nice memories will stick with you forever. You are welcome Barbara and I just sent you my post on my neighbor Marge in my other comment. I am not going to make it to Reader for the third night in a row. I was working in the house all day containing the clutter of groceries I have brought home to avoid shopping til next Spring. Now I am done with all that, I did not get the garden cut down and finished, nor leaves raked – we had a rainy, sometimes snowing lightly kind of day – so those chores will have to wait until next weekend. I daren’t have raked and left the leaves out – no telling if they might have been set on fire, like the garage down the street. But anyway, I’ll have my weekends free again and can hopefully stay caught up here better.

        1. You sound like one of your squirrels, gathering your stores for the winter. πŸ™‚ Very wise planning! You will reap many rewards for all your efforts when you are done. We brought our table and chairs in off the balcony and have been doing some painting, cleaning fans and filters, and stocking up. Hopefully we’ll be ready for whatever is coming our way.

          1. My mom and I did this for years and I have continued since she’s been gone the past ten years. I really need more shelves, because right now I had to resort to small bankers’ boxes to store some dry goods. It doesn’t look very nice, but I ran out of room as it is a small house and I was adamant I would not return to the store until April. In the past I went once a month for some perishables, mostly dairy, eggs, maybe lunchmeat, but not this year.
            I want to stay away due to COVID. All the canned items are downstairs on metal shelves. In the past, I have written a post or two about doing what the squirrels do with their hunting and gathering. Since my car is in the garage and I don’t have to go outside the house for work, in my opinion, it is nice to not have to go out on a weekend, with crowds, to buy groceries, even in pre-pandemic times. I have tried to preserve my weekends in the Winter as the rest of the year, there were/are more things to be done in good weather with no snow worries, some just enjoying themselves and other things like chores and yardwork that take up time.

          2. You’ve got a good system going there. We live in a small condo so I doubt we could store enough food to make it through the winter, although we have stocked up quite a bit and continue to have a lot of things delivered. Lucky for me, my husband is not a homebody and has taken over the food shopping, for which he suits up with a mask and carries the hand sanitizer on his person, using frequently. I interrogate the poor guy before he leaves and after he returns, just to make sure he doesn’t slip up and bring the virus home with him. What a way to live. We ordered and received some of those plastic face shields so now I am going to have him wear one of those over the mask, too.

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