This past weekend we visited the sunflower field in Belle Plaine, Iowa. We also went here last year but at that time the condition of the sunflowers were past their peak. So this year we made sure we see them in their prime.
We were not disappointed. They’re so beautiful.
Sunflowers are heliotropic plants. A hell…. what?
Heliotropism is an ability to move or turn in response to light. So sunflowers slowly track the motion of the sun across the sky during the day to face it and then drift back during the nighttime. Though mature sunflowers may lose this ability as their stalk gets stiff.
However, during our last visit I saw a different movement in some sunflowers. They were walking!
Or so I thought. It was just my wife harvesting some sunflowers.
A couple of weeks ago, when we were coming home from a week-long international camporee, we happen to drove by a sunflower farm here in Iowa. We were unaware that there’s a sunflower field here. Since we were all tired from the camping, we did not go down to check it out, but promised ourselves that we’ll come back and visit it some other time.
Last Friday, after we helped our daughter get settled back to her dorm, we trekked down to the sunflower farm, which was less than an hour drive from our daughter’s university.
When we arrived at the field, we were a little disappointed, as the condition of the sunflowers has passed its peak. Summer after all, is almost ending and plus the heavy rains earlier in the week did a number on the sunflowers. In fact some of the sunflowers had already fallen to the ground.
Since the state of the farm was not that picture perfect anymore, the $3 entrance fee had been waived, and instead a box for voluntary donation at the gate was placed. It was also free to take some flowers home.
I have to say though that overall, peak or past their peak, the sunflowers were still a beauty to behold.
I noticed something peculiar as well. I always heard that sunflowers always face and follow the sun from sunrise to sunset. This phenomenon is called heliotropism. However in this field the flowerheads were actually turned away from the sun as they were facing east, though the sun was already starting to descend in the west. Why?
I asked one of the farm attendant and she told us that young sunflowers follow the sun across the sky, but when the plant mature, the stalks become stiff already so they lost their ability to turn. So the mature sunflowers face east permanently the rest of their days.
Isn’t that like people? When we were young, we were impressionable and we follow rules without questions. But when we get old, we become “stiff neck” and become pasaway (hardheaded).
Speaking of pasaway, here’s one:
Don’t worry, I did not really “water” the sunflowers. It was all for photo effects.
For some reason while I was on this field, I had this certain Beatles song playing in my head. Maybe because I know that the sunflowers follow the sun:
One day, you’ll find That I have gone But tomorrow may rain, so I’ll follow the sun Yeah tomorrow may rain, so I’ll follow the sun.