Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Stray Sunflowers

I have been seeing sunflowers popping up in most inhospitable and unexpected places this fall. So far, I spotted them in two spots other than gardens where they were intentionally planted. The first is a dumping area where there is some old refuse from yard cleanup and beside a large man made hill of topsoil that has been stripped from new building sites in Fort Saskatchewan. This hill was transported by large, we used to call them “Turnapoles,” but they are now called “Buggies” or  earthmovers. Several days were spent and many acres of prime farmland were stripped of valuable topsoil to make way for more housing developments, strip malls and paved streets. Somehow in the transfer process a few sunflower seeds were also accidently transplanted. Were they carried over from an old farm yard garden by the earth movers or stored by an industrious Blue Jay with cheeks stuffed full of bird feeder gifts.
Sunflowers at Dump Site
The other unusual place is where a wandering seed turned an otherwise ugly industrial site to a spot of beauty  is our local Lafarge Cement plant. Out beside their cement reclaim pile is a mound of dirt crowned by a glorious sunflower perched high above surrounding refuse. Like the rising sun it seems to be redirecting our eye to its beauty rather than the mess that a plastic woven page wire fence is struggling to hide.
Random Sunflower on Waste Heap
I will be watching for other unusual sunflower sightings as summer changes to autumn. It seems to me as if these plants are destined to supply beauty to ugly and valuable food to displaced critters whose homes have been torn apart by people in our continuous efforts to pave over beautiful, natural land in the name of progress.

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