World Views: Sunflowers have a new meaning at the end of February 2022

“Put sunflower seeds in your pockets so sunflowers grow here when you die.”

Sunflowers, the national flower of Ukraine, a country most had not given much thought to, has now become a symbol of resistance, unity, and hope. Sunflowers had been planted at a Ukraine missile base after the removal of nuclear weapons in 1996. Now, much of social media is sporting brilliant yellow sunflowers and the blue and yellow flag of Ukraine. We have a different view of these colors, these flowers, Ukraine, war, nuclear weapons, and our world.

Thinleaf Sunflower in UV

When I first started my “World Views: Pollinators & Plants project a few years back, it was to give a glimpse of what we humans see, or don’t see, and what many of the wild ones can see. I am not a fan of studio or portrait setups so the ultraviolet and high-key images have been a challenge. Maybe in seeing those other world views we can come to understand how important the world we often overlook really is. We have a lot to learn. About ourselves, others, and all life around us.

Finally, many are paying attention and seeing what bravery, kindness, passion, compassion, and solidarity are.

During this week, 2/28/22 to 3/4/22, of invasive species awareness and turmoil in Ukraine, plan on planting some sunflower seeds or plants this spring season. March 2, 2022 day 6 of the attempted invasion and war on Ukraine by Russia — as the world unites to support them in so many ways. Will it be enough?

Thinleaf Sunflower, Helianthus decapetalus is a native to much of the northeast to the central US, but there are so many wonderful Helianthus out there! The numerous species of bees, flies, butterflies, beetles, bugs, aphids, leafhoppers, grasshoppers, moths, songbirds, gamebirds, crows, voles, moles, groundhogs, deer, and others will appreciate the treats! If something isn’t eating your plants there is a problem!

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