I've been up to my eye-teeth in work this summer (a good problem, given my underemployment the past two summers), so I have not been as diligent in supervising my gardens this year.
Actually, that last phrase should read "so I have not been micro-managing my gardens this year."
Anyways, the red sunflowers I planted started blooming when I was buried in some editing that a lurking deadline prevented me from ignoring. This is the first attempt in three years to nurture these plants to fruition; one year my dogs trampled the baby sprouts, and another year my "guaranteed" seeds must have been duds.
Thus, I am proud to look out my office window and see the first of these flowers majestically swaying in the wind, standing some 6-1/2 feet from the ground. I suspect that - when this flower is joined by others - I will have an impressive row of scarlet-tinged orbs keeping watch over my third of an acre, and I will thus have no need to be scouring the Internet for listings on Wilmington NC real estate, or not until the nest blizzard.
At least until the squirrels notice the sunflowers, that is. We have a friend who insists that planting sunflowers serves only the gastronomical urges of the genus Sciurus, and she swore to never plant sunflowers again.
But I saw them in her yard last week, and now I know she's a dirty rotten liar. By the way - the original Wikipedia image for "red sunflower" was kind of lame, so I replaced it with the image I snapped this morning. Now my red sunflower is world-famous.