I saw some beautiful sunflowers this summer, in fact numerous varieties. My favorite — name wise was a variety called teddy bear sunflower (I have always been partial to bears). Looking at the bushier ones (you can see them in the background), the name is most appropriate. Some of the other varieties of sunflowers were both taller than my son Patrick and myself, and we are not exactly garden gnomes. Sunflowers are one of my favorite flowers of summer. Their name in French — tournesol describes them aptly: turning toward the sun. I have tried planting them in the small yard I have here, but there has never been enough sun. When I did plant some in a planter box on my former landlord’s car port where there was more sun, the squirrels took delight in never letting them reach their proper height, by trampling on them, or chewing off their heads, as well as breaking them off, before they had had a chance to unfold their beauty. My fondness of wildlife — squirrels in particular — at that point was rather diminished by such crude behavior. My cat Calvin can’t keep an eye on them either at all times unfortunately, so sunflowers have been off the summer garden planting list in Oakland since then.
Today was Palm Sunday, the beginning of Holy Week. In the Lutheran churches I have attended here in California, they often use real palm leaves to decorate the church, something reserved for warm climates, unlike my native country, where the crocus and snow drops are still struggling to welcome Easter this year I’m told. In some years, depending on which date Easter falls on, the daffodils shine brightly in the sun for Easter in all their yellow, orange, and white exuberance. The literal translation from German for daffodil means Easter bell (Osterglocke).
The photo above, is of some palm leaves I had the privilege to photograph in Venezuela some years back. I love the symmetry of the leaves, and the soft light falling through them.
Palm Sunday is almost over. Now comes the walk to the cross of my Lord on Good Friday, and then the joyous Easter celebration of his resurrection on Sunday.