28 June 2011

First Sunflowers

Sunflower bud, Magdalena, NM, June 2011
Volunteer sunflower from last year's stand, Magdalena, NM, June 2011
Sunflowers are the happiest flowers in the garden, and every year I try to plant some both for their beauty and to hang the dried heads in the backyard so birds can feast over the winter. This year they planted themselves for me -- a good thing because I was so busy expanding the veggie garden to feed a family of 47 or so. These beauties bloomed yesterday, which was also the first day we got any rain for over 6 weeks. It was literally just a sprinkle, but it's heartening to see the clouds start building up as our essential monsoons (rainy season) approach. Quite a few wildfires have sparked in just the last few days, including the Las Conchas Fire near Los Alamos that grew from a few acres to 43,000 acres in less than one day. The Cerro Grande Fire of 2000 grew to 48,000 acres total and devastated the town, but even with the new fire pushing 60,000 acres and still uncontained, crews have so far managed to protect the town and Los Alamos National Lab. So far.

The downside to the building storms is that lightning can easily spark fires in our bone-dry forests; three started nearby, about 20 miles southwest of town, during lightning strikes yesterday afternoon. So we're holding our breath as storms continue to develop but bring little rain. And I continue to tend my little oasis, which teems with birds and good bugs seeking refuge from the drought.
Black-seeded sunflower near birdfeeder, Magdalena, NM, June 2011

1 comment:

Anesha said...

Stunning photos!!!