Perhaps the most beautiful sight on the prairie is a field of blooming sunflowers. Farmer Fred didn't plant sunflowers this year, but Farmer Scott did, so I went to visit his field.
Above: Sunflowers follow the sun from east to west while in early bloom, then stop to face the rising sun as their heads mature.
Above: Each flower seem to be bowing to the sun as it rises in the east. The tilt increases as the oil rich seeds mature.
Above: Blackbirds are a common problem in sunflower fields.
A bird has eaten the missing seeds from the head. The bird eats from the outer edge to feast on the plumpest seeds in the flower.
Above: Petals on the maturing flowers dry down and will soon fall off as the seeds in the head continue to grow and ripen.
Above: Some petals have dropped from this flower and hundreds of seeds are set and growing in the remaining center.
Above: This head is easily as big as your dinner plate.
Above: With napkin sized leaves.
Above: These sunflowers look great today, but still need weeks of summer weather and vigilance in order to result in a bumper crop.