A Sidewalk Sunflower Season

2017-05-27 14.37.32 (2)

Chapter One:

The Goldfinch picked at the sunflower and gobbled up the ripe seed while keeping one eye and both ears on the interested feline below. The bell tinkled on the cat’s neck, setting off the alarm within the Goldfinch and so he bounced into the sky for safety but the seed he had just plucked fell loose and headed for the ground.

The seed was pleased to be spared and hoped to land in the same fertile earth that she had spawned from as so many of her brethren had done before her, generation after generation, but the goldfinches momentum as he took to the sky had changed the direction of the path and instead of landing in the fertile earth with its brethren it landed softly on a concrete path.

A collective ohhhhhhhhhhhhh resonated from all the seeds in the earth, as they knew that only death awaited the seed. Would it be a quick death as a bird or animal could easily see the ripe seed laying on the concrete, or would the large earth matter who tended them sweep it up during his daily ritual of keeping the concrete clean of vegetative matter?

Night came to the garden, the seed could only wait out its fate. It was very warm where she had fallen and even if she survived the night without bringing substance to the raccoons or ground squirrels, or the sweeping, the heat of the concrete during full sun tomorrow would bake the seed into oblivion. She needed the earth to survive but that didn’t seem likely. She felt other seeds around her, she knew she was not alone. Many had fallen just like her to the concrete. She came from such a huge floret that the gluttonous birds worked faster than they could eat, with many full seeds falling to the ground. Some made it to the earth, but many also landed like her on the concrete.

The ground squirrel came whirling up to the garden plot. He picked up a few of the ripe seeds on the concrete but his focus was on the sunflower itself. As he shuffled up and raised his tiny arm to grab a low hanging sunflower his hind legs kicked a few sunflowers seeds into the crevice between where the two concrete footing met. Years ago the crevice would have been completely solid but time had worked a few holes in the crevice. As luck would have it, she was kicked into the one spot that had such a hole. She had her earth but it was a tenuous life she clung onto.

She felt great life within her and was determined to see what she could make of it even though she only had a 1/2 inch of dirt to work with.  In just one night her fortunes had changed as she had made landfall, while the other seeds had either been eaten by the foraging ground squirrel or were still sitting on the concrete.

The next day,  the large earthen creature, swept up the seeds on the concrete and placed them into a tub. She hunkered down hoping to escape the brushes that came dangerously close to including her in the murderous roundup. It was finally done, and once again she had survived.

She tried to stay awake but the voice of nature was calling her to sleep. It was a voice you could not ignore, and before the season turned to fall she had fallen into a deep sleep, and would not wake until nature told her too.

The odds of being alive to hear that alarm clock going off were infinitesimally small.

Almost as small as the Dodgers winning 110 games in one season.

Almost as small as Chris Taylor being the leadoff hitter, playing CF, for a team on pace to win more games than any in the history of the Dodger franchise

Almost as small as an AAA player getting called up in late April and hitting more home runs than any rookie in Dodger history

Almost as small as an injury prone Morrow finding out he has many more tomorrows.

So it turns out, those weren’t bad odds at all, were they?




  1. 68elcamino427

    So you’re saying there’s a chance?


  2. 68elcamino427

    Bird ranching update.

    The hummingbird count is around 20.
    There are three one quart feeders for them in the back yard.
    This morning two were empty and renewed, same as the previous day.

    The level of the nectar in the feeder has not changed in the last 24 hrs.
    This is a big change from a daily refill.
    So, they are likely now headed back to their fall and winter home.


    • That is great, we have a few but nothing close to that number. We don’t have feeders but plenty of flowers for them.


      • I could never stay on top of the nectar, I would keep forgetting to fill it.


        • 68elcamino427

          One cup of sugar to fill the feeder.

          I am a kool-aid specialist.


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