Sunday, September 1, 2013

The Ditch Weed is Blooming!

Ha. Wrong Ditch Weed. The "weed" I'm referring to is the Maximilian Sunflower and it's taking over in the ditches south of Lawrence on US-59. And I love it. My drive to work is 95% more wonderful.

The father of one of my high school friends always referred to wild sunflowers as weeds and as they drove by our house on the way to church every Sunday, he'd look at our garden where my mom planted a row of sunflowers along the west end and wonder why we planted WEEEDS in our garden.

When we were little we checked a book out of the library called "Sunflower House." Here's a video of questionable quality that reads the book to you. We never could understand why Mom and Dad wouldn't let us dig up the yard like that.... Unsurprisingly, our sunflower houses were in the garden. We planted morning glories among the sunflowers and they'd twine up the stalks to add purple and blue pops of color to the vibrant yellow.  I rarely remember actually playing in the houses though... the floors were plain dirt and we didn't want to soil our clothes - not to mention, it was HOT in the middle of the summer when the houses were in full bloom.

What better way to honor this kind of beauty than to recklessly attack it with a knife? Let it be known that so-called "steak knives" can cut other things. Like tomatoes, plums, nectarines and Maximilian Sunflowers. Even if your knife specifically states "STEAK" on it, as mine does.

See. Right there, it says "STEAK" ^^

I had vaguely planned ahead for my foraging mission. I chose a lunch that would require mild preparation and thus, a knife. As I was driving to work in the morning, I scouted out sizable and accessible patches of sunflowers. I carefully rationed my water throughout the day so I would have enough in my water bottle to quench the thirst of my possibly illegally acquired flowers. Just kidding. I refilled my water bottle throughout the day.

After work I relocated a promising patch and waded in, nice flats, work clothes and all.  Every flower received a precautionary flick to ensure I would be gathering primarily flora with minimal fauna.  I emerged victorious, a water bottle full of sunflowers clutched in my grasp, flats full of plant detritus, and pants covered in beggartick seeds.  Fortunately, my pants are 110% non-natural fibers and my various hangers-on were speedily dispersed.  (Which is, I suppose, the point.)

The last few miles home were interesting. I kept a tight hold on the water bottle to keep it from obeying the laws of gravity and turning its unwieldy top end over end. I also kept one eye on the, er, romantically entangled insects I'd missed in my preliminary flick to ensure that they were still on a flower and not loose in my car.

Upon my arrival home, I dislodged the lovers but then a fit of laziness hit and after discovering that the garbage disposal drain was the perfect size to hold my bottle of flowers and keep them from upending themselves, I left them "to soak overnight."

I carefully arranged them in a quart mason jar (read: tore off lower leaves and shoved rather unceremoniously into a jar) and set them on the coffee table. After my sister got after me, I switched them to a half-gallon blue mason jar (really pops against the yellow and shows my dedication to all the things that were better in the old days - not to mention it's more stable) and set them on my handy swatch of burlap.  All the things look better on burlap or barnwood or both. (For example, if you'd just looked at my steak knife, you'd have been bored, but since my steak knife was on burlap, you probably assumed it was vintage with a long and storied history of delicious steaks.  In reality, my sister got it at a thrift store (!) and I swiped it when she left for a far-off state. And I've never cut a steak with it. Mostly tomatoes. And chicken once.)

Here's some pictures of my ditch weeds.
Blue Mason jar! Burlap! Sunflowers! And a handquilted double wedding ring backdrop!

My slightly tacky coffee table has a mirror in the top. Makes for an
interesting picture I guess.

Now I should go clean the seed remnants from my flats.

No comments:

Post a Comment