Summer’s Flight

One last fling for a sunflower

Colored leaves drifting from maples, oaks, and sycamores may evoke the coming of autumn, but flowers also have an end; falling petals and withering leaves betoken changes to come. 

Given the amount of spider silk wrapped around this sunflower (Helianthus annuus), I assumed its apparently airborne rays still were attached to the plant. They may have been dragging a bit of silk behind them, but when I discovered them missing in the following frames, I realized the truth. However inadvertently, I’d captured a perfect illustration for Emily Dickinson’s gentle farewell to the season: a sunflower’s beautiful ‘light escape.’ 

As imperceptibly as Grief
The Summer lapsed away —
Too imperceptible at last
To seem like Perfidy —
A Quietness distilled
As Twilight long begun,
Or Nature spending with herself
Sequestered Afternoon —
The Dusk drew earlier in —
The Morning foreign shone —
A courteous, yet harrowing Grace,
As Guest, that would be gone —
And thus, without a Wing
Or service of a Keel
Our Summer made her light escape
Into the Beautiful.
                                               Emily Dickinson

Comments always are welcome.

To A Sunflower

A hint of autumn ~ Maximilian Sunflower

When I discovered the first Maximilian sunflowers of the season — a sure sign of autumn despite our current heat and humidity — my first thought echoed the first line of Percy Bysshe Shelley’s “To a Skylark.”  I had fun adapting some stanzas for the flowers; you can read the original poem here.

Hail to thee, blithe Flower!
Weed thou never wert
That from Heaven, or near it,
Shinest thy full rays
In spreading gleams of unpremeditated art.
A continuation of summer ~ Common Sunflower
Higher still and higher
From the earth thou springest
Like a blaze of fire;
The blue sky thou seekest,
And seeking still dost grow, and growing ever singest.
Maximilian sunflower with Black-eyed Susans
In the golden lightning
Of the sinking sun,
O’er which clouds are bright’ning,
Thou dost bloom and run;
Like unbodied joy whose race is just begun.


Comments always are welcome.