As Princess Jenna rightly observed in a photo I posted recently, I am growing a row of Mammoth Sunflowers at the end of my corn patch. According to the seed package from W. Atlee Burpee & Co., these large flowers will grow on 12 foot stalks. Jenna gave the seeds to me four years ago, when she moved from Show Low, and I have kept them in the bottom of our refrigerator, waiting for an opportunity to plant them. I know, four years is not very old, compared to the 2000 year old date palm seed, recovered by archaeologists from Masada, which they managed to sprout three years ago. That tree, which they named Methuselah, is now 4 feet high and doing quite well. Once I grew beans, which had descended from 1000 year-old seed found by archaeologists at Mesa Verde. Anyway, I'm off-track as usual. My stream-of-consciousness writing will never win a Pulitzer.
We learned this year that our sweet, little Lesser Goldfinches not only love the bugs that are attracted to our sunflowers, they also enjoy the taste of the lower leaves of the plant. We keep them in thistle seed all year round, for which they are enthusiastic to say the least. I think it is very wise of these beautiful birds to leave the new leaves alone, so that the plant can continue to grow and provide them with many future meals. As an aside, I don't like to let them hear me call them "Lesser" Goldfinches. I wouldn't want them to develop an inferiority complex. They may not be as bright yellow as their showy cousins, the American Goldfinches, but they have wonderful personalities and are quite intelligent. I'm glad they are enjoying the sunflowers.