The greatest virtue of man is perhaps curiosity ~Anatole France~



Girasole - a sunflower and a most endearing term for a loved one.  Some years ago I would take long bike rides in search of sunflower fields because my mom loved these towering beauties and I was in need of a heart felt Christmas gift on a budget.  I would rummage through the hills for the perfect yellow top, exquisitely placed upon a understated stalk. Constantly waiting for the lighting coupled with an insect or two about the top then I would rattle off 100's of frames from every angle just to pedal home as fast as possible to be disappointed with my photographic handy work.

Nothing in my mind captures a sunflower like the eye, not just the human eye but I think all eyes.  The sunflower is irresistible.

I have never been able to replicate the beauty, the yellows and orange tones. It is impossible to capture the bumble bee weighed down with pollen, crawling through endless sea of color and texture.  The green of a sunflower leaf is so rich that when the sun strikes it just so it seems to disappear except for the glowing green edges and the veins of nutrition surging towards the sky. The color of yellow and green masked against a blue sky is unmistakable, it is the color combination of tranquility and peace.  Nothing in the garden sets me off like a sunflower, it is Mother Nature's paintbrush.

This year I was determined to grow my own patch of sunflowers.  Setting out in March I read a few articles and searched for the seed combination I desired and set to work in the greenhouse.  Instantly I was amazed with how quickly the girasole could grow. Inching its way up to heaven as the sun heated the potted soil and devouring water as quickly as any plant I have ever seen. Once summer had arrived it was time to transplant these beauties into the garden.  I planted them so that I could see gaze from my favorite and most frequented locations on the farm; the woodshop, arbor, bedroom, office, hammock, garden, etc. Three months have passed and they stand twice as tall as me, not 12'4" like I would desire but a modest 11'5" ish depending on who I am speaking with.

The girasole is the essence of peace on the farm.  It constantly brings me awe as to how it can grow so large from just a small seed that is typically stuffed into the cheek of a weary driver on a menacing mountain pass, or spit out onto the bleachers at a baseball game.

If I ever met Mother Nature I would ask her if I could call her Girasole...