The sunflowers have pretty much come to an end round here. A few of the smaller ones are hanging on, but the vast majority have hung their heads, shed their yellow petals, and are silently waiting for the 'chop'.
I know they are spectacular whist in full bloom, they brilliantly colour the landscape for a few weeks but, soon after, when they begin to fade, there is a long, slow deterioration for at least a couple of months.
Sunflowers in full bloom.
I used to find this period a bit depressing, but I have been driving past a particular sunflower field almost every day this Summer, and have been looking at them a little more closely. I'm starting to think that I prefer them like this.
They are still, silent, solemn sculptures - still massive in the fields, but with their leaves drying and curling as they begin to brown up and their giant round heads going black and heavy with the weight of the oil.
They don't turn with the sun anymore, and their stems have become brittle and pale; bent, bowed and sometimes broken.
But what a powerful presence!