In October 2006, Holly and I visited relatives in northern New Mexico. I took these two photos of round things in my nephew Elijah's yard:
That squirrel did not lay those eggs, y'know... And he wasn't eating them either. He was eating the grain.
And this sunflower, still on the stalk:
I told him I had photographed it, and he cut it off and gave it to us.
By the ditch, in a field belonging to one of his other-side uncles, he had planted big sunflowers on the side of the ditch, and was selling the flowers at the organic growers' market in Santa Fe. This one might have been even bigger had it been near the ditch and not in his yard!
So we brought it home and I set it out on the deck for us to look at and for birds to peck at. Later in the year I broke it up, put the seeds out for birds, and put the rest of it in the back compost.
Near the compost there grew one huge sunflower—not as big as its mama, but big. That one, I saved the seeds from. This year I planted them and the video above is one of the results. So it's the grandbaby of Elijah's giant sunflower.
Here are some others. Elijah saw them a couple of weeks ago and said they were planted too close. I'm sure he's right, but we're in the rocky sandy foothills, not in an irrigated river valley. I'm surprised they grew at all!
We also have smaller sunflowers growing, that make little black seeds. Those just came in the birdseed we buy from Costco. We planted it birdseed in three places in the yard. The bottom ones in the image above are the smaller ones. Here's the patch I tried to point out in the video up top, too. They're in the front corner of the yard where there used to be rocks and weeds, taken from the sidewalk, toward the house.