Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Sunflower colony

with 10 comments

A colony of sunflowers, Helianthus annuus. Click for a more detailed view.

What is it about people who prefer a stubblefield to a piece of land covered with plants? When I returned yesterday to the bit of prairie I visited on May 17 and wrote about in the post entitled “Sunflower’s New Leaves,” I found that some nefarious entity had mowed down the young sunflower plants I’d photographed, along with everything else adjacent to them. Inexplicably, just a little further south, no mower had chanced to go, and there I found the gorgeous colony of fully flowering sunflower plants shown here. Though fields of cultivated sunflowers have their charm, they’re missing the appealing wildness of a colony growing by the rules, or lack of rules, of nature.

© 2011 Steven Schwartzman

(Look here for information about Helianthus annuus, including an enlargeable map showing where the species grows.)

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 11, 2011 at 2:21 AM

10 Responses

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  1. […] on some of the sunflowers in the prairie colony I visited two days ago I found several lady beetles, also known as lady bugs (though they […]

  2. […] out this morning intending to go back to the sunflower colony I visited last Friday; took a circuitous route; got waylayed by another sunflower colony that, like […]

  3. […] firm grip, a grip that never faltered even as the spider dragged the caterpillar around on the sunflower from time to time in response to my close presence and movements as I kept taking […]

  4. […] across the top of the photograph. This blog is only a month old, and already you’ve heard me complain about these people who only seem happy when they’ve turned a beautiful display of flowers in […]

  5. […] Sunflower colony […]

  6. What an extraordinary image, Steve – I had to look closely to convince myself that it was a photo rather than a painting. This goes far beyond representational image and into evocative art. Congratulations and thank you for sharing this on your 25th anniversary post.

    composerinthegarden

    August 8, 2012 at 7:35 AM

    • Thank you, Lynn, for your congratulations and for appreciating this image, which I put up after just one week of blogging. Yours is the first comment about the photograph that anyone has ever left.

      Steve Schwartzman

      August 8, 2012 at 9:38 AM

      • Well, it certainly deserves a wider viewing! I really liked your idea of a 25 image retrospect; a good technique to get new views for early posts that didn’t get the attention they deserved.

        composerinthegarden

        August 8, 2012 at 10:13 AM

      • I’m with you that “it certainly deserves a wider viewing!” I was fascinated by the chaos and energy of this sunflower colony. For whatever reason, I didn’t see anything nearly as good in this year’s sunflower groups. Either it didn’t happen, or I wasn’t in the right place at the right time.

        As you point out, I made sure in the retrospective to include pictures from the early days when not many people were visiting this blog.

        Steve Schwartzman

        August 8, 2012 at 10:32 AM

  7. […] you compare this picture to the many you’ve seen here of common sunflowers, Helianthus annuus, and Maximilian sunflowers, Helianthus maximiliani, you may be able to tell that […]


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