Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Sunflowers in a Vase

When I think of "Sunflowers in a Vase," the first thing that comes to mind is Vincent Van Gogh. This magnificent artist had a commanding love and appreciation for sunflowers and painted them often. To refresh your memory of his sunny flower art, I've included one of his art prints below.

Sunflowers, c.1888

Aren't those sunflowers pretty? I'm thinking that the vase is an important part of the presentation.

Drumroll for my artsy presentation of "Sunflowers in a Vase" but it's a "Cat Vase!"

Sunflowers in a Vase : A Laurel Burch Cat Vase
Sunflowers in a Vase : A Laurel Burch Cat Vase
Can you see the black cat with white polka dots? It's the art of Laurel Burch and I think it makes the perfect vase for presenting an arrangement of sunflowers!

Sunflowers in a Vase : A Laurel Burch Cat Vase
Sunflowers in a Vase : A Laurel Burch Cat Vase
I'll bet that if Vincent Van Gogh was around today, he'd want to paint those sunflowers in that cat vase!

Bold Autumn Beauty Sunflower in Cat Vase
Bold Autumn Beauty Sunflower in Cat Vase
In this artsy picture, you get a better look at the beautiful ceramic Laurel Burch cat vase. I've had this vase for years, but never had the sunflowers to complete the presentation.

Sunflowers in a Vase : A Laurel Burch Cat Vase
Sunflowers in a Vase : A Laurel Burch Cat Vase
In this last photo, there is a little something extra to the presentation. If you look at the base of the ceramic cat vase, you can see a lot of yellow pollen. It is quite surprising the amount of pollen that is contained in a sunflower blossom!

Like that vase? I've searched at Amazon and can find hundreds of Laurel Burch Designer Items but I could not find a ceramic vase like mine! For the right price, I could be convinced to sell mine! So, I also searched over at eBay for Laurel Burch Cat Collectibles. My oh my, but there are some delectable designer items to be had!

Autumn Beauty Sunflowers in a Laurel Burch Cat Vase
Autumn Beauty Sunflowers in a Vase : A Laurel Burch Cat Vase
Notice how the sunflower blossoms have gotten more rich in color? Oh my, but I was so impressed with the quality of sunflower plants which grew from the organic sunflower seeds that I purchased at Lowe's!

Magnificent Autumn Beauty Sunflowers in a Laurel Burch Cat Vase
Magnificent Autumn Beauty Sunflowers in a Laurel Burch Cat Vase
I added more magnificent Autumn Beauty sunflower blossoms to my vase. In early July, we had a lot of rain which caused my tallest sunflower plant to uproot. The only way that I could get the plant to stay in the ground was to cut the blossoms. Those are what you see in this photo. That plant was a spiritual experience to see in person! I was almost a bit sad to cut those beautiful blossoms -- but at least I've captured them in a photo in a pretty cat vase ... for posterity! Enjoy.

Did you hear? That I actually had one final sunflower plant pop up in my garden? The Last Sunflower of Summer really surprised me. I am thankful that I have a couple more inspiring photos to share of sunflowers in a cat vase. Check them out!

Some Final Autumn Beauty Sunflowers in a Laurel Burch Cat Vase
Some Final Autumn Beauty Sunflowers in a Laurel Burch Cat Vase
Some Final Autumn Beauty Sunflowers in a Laurel Burch Cat Vase
Some Final Autumn Beauty Sunflowers in a Laurel Burch Cat Vase
The sunflowers in that cat vase in the two photos directly above are from the top of the sunflower plant. There were four large multiple sunflowers blossoming when we got a bit of extra rain. I watched as the top of the plant began to bow and rather than risk the plant falling over, I trimmed the top sunflower blossoms and put them in the vase for a last photo shoot. These are pretty amazing because they are from the seeds of my previous plants!

Take a look at all of the sunflowers in that cat vase ... you can see subtle differences between the blossoms. Pretty incredible with the colors and the styles.

P.S. Have you gotten involved with The Sunflower Project? This pay-it-forward project is in full steam. I am still harvesting sunflower heads for seeds and anticipate that this project will continue into 2014.


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Crocs Prima Redneck Tan

Surely you have seen a traditional redneck tan? Google "redneck tan" and you will find images of many an attractive and not-so-attractive person sporting sunburns and tans with various parts of their body unburned and untanned.

Yes, technically a "redneck" tan applies to the upper body and red necks too. Today,I am sharing a new concept : redneck tans of your feet!

I didn't set out to acquire this type of tan -- it just sort of happened. In Jacksonville, Florida, the sun can be quite brutal on most days. Some days, we are cautioned that the burn index is under ten minutes or less. That's hot!

Step 1 : Me in My Crocs Prima Ballet Flats

Me in My Crocs Prima Ballet Flats
Me in My Crocs Prima Cotton Candy Ballet Flats
I love wearing my Crocs Prima ballet flats out in the yard. If I get them dirty, not to worry! I just carry them into the shower with me and use a little scrub brush on them. Oh, and another thing! I seriously love the cool little Jibbitz big flower charms that you can add to your Crocs.

Time out for a word from our sponsor: I found a listing for Crocs Women's Prima Ballet Flats on Amazon! And, you got to have your Jibbitz Flower Charms!

Step 2 : Redneck Tan - Right Foot

Me in My Crocs Prima Ballet Flats - Right Foot Redneck Tan
Me in My Crocs Prima Ballet Flats - Right Foot Redneck Tan
Step 3 : Redneck Tan - Left Foot

Me in My Crocs Prima Ballet Flats - Left Foot Redneck Tan
Me in My Crocs Prima Ballet Flats - Left Foot Redneck Tan
Can you see it? Look closely! On each foot you can see the four little tanned spots. The Jibbitz has covered up the middle spot so there is no tanned dot there. But, what is interesting is that the two interior holes in the Crocs Primas are rather obscured by the Jibbitz large flower charms. And, yet the sun has managed to get in and tan those areas too.

Step 4 : Redneck Tan - Both Feet
 
Thank You Crocs Prima Ballet Flats for My Redneck Tan
Thank You Crocs Prima Ballet Flats for My Redneck Tan
I guess I don't really mind that I have a different kind of tan on my two feet. If you look closely at the picture, you not only see spots but some scars too! Here's another view of my two feet:

Both Feet - Post-Surgery: 1-Morton's Neuroma; 2-Bunionectomies

Two Feet of JaguarJulie and Three Foot Surgeries
The Two Feet of JaguarJulie and Three Foot Surgeries
Plus a Crocs Prima Redneck Tan
By the way, you might not know this, but my feet are famous! They have been appearing worldwide thanks to the internet. My feet have been used to promote Morton's Neuroma and bunionectomies -- not necessarily for my pages. We filed a few DMCA complaints; you know I had to put my foot down finally!

P.S. I've written a lot about Crocs footwear over the years:
Before you get your foot out the door, it's another time out for a word from our sponsor: I found a listing for Crocs Women's Prima Ballet Flats on Amazon! And, you got to have your Jibbitz Flower Charms!

Kitten in a Crocs Shoe
I will bet you haven't seen anything quite as cute as a kitten in a Crocs shoe! The shoes are my Crocs Malindi leopard print slingbacks. Those Crocs held up pretty good to these six little kittens. Now that all of the kitties and their white mommy cat have been adopted into new homes, I have my shoes back ... and just a lot of memories ... like you see in these Zazzle items!


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Dance of the Dragonfly

Have you ever seen a dragonfly dance? I believe I have! It was already shaping up to be a bright and sunny day one early morning as I stepped out into my sunflower garden to photograph the pretty blossoms.

It seems that I have no shortage of amazing sunflower blossoms which call out to me to capture them in my photo archive. However, it is not just every day that you find a cooperative dragonfly that loves to be a captive photo subject.

On one of my tall sunflower plants whose head had been recently cut, I spied a dragonfly. This interesting dragonfly did not fly away, but seemed to be doing a dance in the light breeze.

Dance of the Dragonfly in 8 Steps

Dance of the Dragonfly step 1
Dance of the Dragonfly step 2
Dance of the Dragonfly step 3
Dance of the Dragonfly step 4
Dance of the Dragonfly step 5
Dance of the Dragonfly step 6
Dance of the Dragonfly step 7
Dance of the Dragonfly step 8
What do you think? Does that not look like a dragonfly dancing? I personally am quite captivated by dragonflies. But, that was not always the case.

Many years ago, as a child growing up in Cleveland, Ohio, we'd encounter a dragonfly once in awhile. One day, somebody told me to be careful of those dragonflies. That person called them darning needles. They said, the darning needle will fly into your ear.

I'm not sure when I overcame that dragonfly myth. But, I am thankful that I became an admirer. I remember one early afternoon several years ago as I drove out of DeerCreek Country Club. I got to experience a beautiful site ... the migration of dragonflies. I'm sure there were some damselflies in the mix. It was hundreds and hundreds of the beautiful creatures dancing about in the afternoon sky!

A Beautiful Green Dragonfly on my Finger
A Beautiful Green Dragonfly on my Finger
In case you missed my friendly green dragonfly when it was visiting my sunflower garden before, here is that picture when it sat on my finger. Have you seen all the insects and critters in my sunflower garden?

P.S. The return of the dragonfly!  I am happy to report that the dragonflies have continued to visit. I captured the dancing dragonfly on yet another cut sunflower stem. Have a look:

Green and Black Dragonfly Dancing on Sunflower Stem
Green and Black Dragonfly Dancing on Sunflower Stem
This last photo was taken about one month after the other dragonfly photos. Curious thing, I think it is the same dragonfly! The body does look a tiny bit bigger. The dance style looks quite the same!

By the way, I am contemplating an experiment! If I put some Dragonfly Stakes in my sunflower garden, would the dragonfly sit on "itself?" That would be an interesting photo to share! Stay tuned.


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Sunday, June 23, 2013

Pretty Yellow Sunflower Blossoms

When I used to think about sunflowers, I always thought of the color yellow! Growing my own sunflowers from seed, I've learned that there is so much more than just yellow. I've been sharing a lot of the vivid oranges and reds of the Autumn Beauty Sunflowers and not so much of the warm yellows. So, it's time to put the spotlight on the traditional sunflower in warm yellow colors!

Two Pretty Warm Yellow Sunflower Blossoms
Two Pretty Warm Yellow Sunflower Blossoms
You can see the sky behind these two pretty warm yellow sunflower blossoms which come from the same plant. There has been no photo-editing to add in that sky as these blossoms come from the plants which have reached over seven feet in height!

Two Pretty Warm Yellow Sunflower Blossoms
Two Pretty Warm Yellow Sunflower Blossoms
Here is another view of those two pretty warm yellow sunflower blossoms. Another day at a different time of day. Still quite impressive, I think!

An Artsy Solitary Yellow Sunflower Blossom
An Artsy Solitary Yellow Sunflower Blossom
I find this solitary yellow sunflower blossom very artistic. It looks like it was painted in the bright sky.

A Sunny Solitary Yellow Sunflower Blossom
A Sunny Solitary Yellow Sunflower Blossom
There is nothing pretty than a solitary bright yellow sunflower blossom captured against the clear blue sunny sky.

Another Inspiring Sunny Solitary Yellow Sunflower Blossom
Another Inspiring Sunny Solitary Yellow Sunflower Blossom
 This sunny yellow sunflower blossom makes me think of a pinwheel as it looks like it can spin!

A Two-Headed Warm Yellow Sunflower Blossom
A Two-Headed Warm Yellow Sunflower Blossom
I have been awed by the two-headed warm yellow sunflower blossom. It seems rather artistic how these two blooms have come together, one on top of the other! I'll have to share the picture of the harvested head that I am drying for seeds!

Three Petite Yellow Sunflower Blossoms
Three Petite Yellow Sunflower Blossoms
There have been a few of my sunflower plants which didn't achieve the seven feet in height. These petite plants have produced some of the bigger black sunflower seeds although the flower heads are rather petite as well.
Another Pretty Petite Yellow Sunflower Blossom
Another Pretty Petite Yellow Sunflower Blossom
I've had several of these more petite yellow sunflower blossoms in my garden. These are from the plants that are not reaching the great heights of the other plants which produce the bigger and bolder blossoms.

Pretty Warm Yellow to Yellow-Orange Sunflower Blossom
Pretty Warm Yellow to Yellow-Orange Sunflower Blossom
In this combination petal sunflower blossom, you can see a mix of the warm colors with a hint of the yellow-orange as though the flower petals were spun and hit with the colors. This honestly feels like a painting to me.

Pretty Yellow-Orange Muted Sunflower Blossom
Pretty Yellow-Orange Muted Sunflower Blossom
With this last rather muted, yellow-orange colored sunflower blossom, we have now passed from the traditional yellow sunflower to the warm colors. Yet, this particular sunflower blossom is not quite as vivid in color as the Autumn Beauty Sunflowers that I have featured.

The Life and Death Cycle of Pretty Yellow Sunflower Blossoms
The Life and Death Cycle of Pretty Yellow Sunflower Blossoms
In the photo above, you can see the cycle of life and "death" with the beautiful bright yellow sunflower blossoms flourishing in the sunlight. And, to the left, those sunflowers which have seen their day and will be yielding their heads for the seeds of tomorrow!

Multi Headed Yellow Sunflower Blossoms
Multi Headed Yellow Sunflower Blossoms
I hope I have made you smile or maybe go "Ah!" and experience a little awe at the beauty of these sunflower blossoms. Maybe you have been inspired to try growing your own sunflower garden with Burpee Sunflower Seeds?
Two Pretty Sunny Yellow Sunflower Blossoms
Two Pretty Sunny Yellow Sunflower Blossoms
If you do decide to grow your own sunflowers from seeds, please come back and let me know! I'd love to see your pictures.


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Autumn Beauty Sunflower Pictures

I first shared some awesome and colorful Autumn Beauty Sunflower Pictures from my sunflower garden on May 22, 2013. That was just one month ago, and since that time, I have amassed over a thousand pictures of the beautiful blooms and buds growing in that garden!

A Majestic Autumn Beauty Sunflower Blossom
A Majestic Autumn Beauty Sunflower Blossom
I honestly never imagined just how enriching this experience could be. I had spoken about planting sunflower plants for a couple of years, but hadn't tried it yet. Then, it seemed rather out of the blue that I decided I would devote an entire garden to these beautiful flowers ... and even more so, that I would opt to plant them all from seeds.

Three Magnificent Autumn Beauty Sunflower Blossoms
Three Magnificent Autumn Beauty Sunflower Blossoms
For over one month, I have taken photos of my sunflower blooms in the morning and evening. In all my life, I have not photographed any other flower more than a sunflower!

pretty autumn beauty sunflower blossompretty autumn beauty sunflower blossom
pretty autumn beauty sunflower blossompretty autumn beauty sunflower blossom
pretty autumn beauty sunflower blossompretty autumn beauty sunflower blossom
pretty autumn beauty sunflower blossompretty autumn beauty sunflower blossom
pretty autumn beauty sunflower blossompretty autumn beauty sunflower blossom
Aren't these sunflower blossoms fabulous? I have presented them in a mosaic of photos so that you can appreciate all the beautiful characteristics of the blossoms. You can see the vivid array of colors from yellow-orange to orange to red. It is incredible to see so many variations and to think all these came from little Burpee Sunflower Seeds!

Two Vivid Red Autumn Beauty Sunflower Blossoms
Two Vivid Red Autumn Beauty Sunflower Blossoms
If you look at the last picture in my artsy sunflower mosaic above, you will see a red Autumn Beauty sunflower blossom with a bud. Take a look at how pretty those flowers are above. I wanted to share this updated photo so that you could see the bud in bloom. I think it is a bit of art!

A side-by-side comparison of two rather orangy sunflower blossoms. On the left, is more of a reddish color. And, the sunflower blossom on the right has a orange sunburst of colors.

A Buggy Autumn Beauty Sunflower Blossom
A Buggy Autumn Beauty Sunflower Blossom
Why do I call that a buggy sunflower blossom? Well if you look closely at the top of the flower, you will notice something buggy going on with the petals. I'm not really sure what type of insect that is, but I can see that it has been enjoying the petals of the sunflower.

An Impressive Warm Sunflower Blossom Threesome
An Impressive Warm Sunflower Blossom Threesome
It is quite impressive how so many of the blossoms seem to arrange themselves in the garden to make such a beautiful presentation. Like this threesome with the larger blossom placed up against two complementing, smaller blossoms. With a slight variation in orangy colors! Lovely.

Magnificent Autumn Beauty Sunflower Reaching for the Sky
Magnificent Autumn Beauty Sunflower Reaching for the Sky
Just when I thought I had seen all the beauty that my sunflower garden can produce ... along comes this magnificent Autumn Beauty sunflower plant that is so vividly red in color. It is from the organic seeds and it is a beauty!

You know, I started The Sunflower Project recently in which I am giving away free sunflower seeds to those who want to grow their own sunflowers. In the project, after your sunflowers have bloomed, you are to harvest the seeds and then pay them forward so that others can grown their own.

Several pretty Autumn Beauty sunflower blossoms
Several pretty Autumn Beauty sunflower blossoms
Well, thanks for dropping by to check out my pretty Autumn Beauty Sunflower Pictures!

Several pretty Autumn Beauty sunflower blossoms on a sunny day
Several pretty Autumn Beauty sunflower blossoms on a sunny day
It gives me great joy to be able to experience these each and every day, and greater joy to be able to share their beauty with my readers. Thanks for being there!


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