Sunflowers Galore!

Sunflowers Galore, photo by Shawn Jenks

If you’re a fan of sunflowers, it’s your season! I love seeing fields bursting with sunflowers as I’m out and about this time of year.

View the photo background bigilicious and see more in Shawn’s slideshow.

More summer wallpaper on Michigan in Pictures.

 

Sunflower Saturday

Sunflowers

Sunflowers, photo by Sharon

Sharon caught these beautiful sunflowers at the Petoskey Farmer’s Market. View the photo background bigilicious and see more in her Michigan slideshow.

More summer wallpaper on Michigan in Pictures.

Plugged In

Plugged In

Plugged In, photo by Third Son

View Third Son’s photo background bigilicious and see more in his Commute slideshow.

More great summer wallpaper on Michigan in Pictures.

Monarch & Sunflower

IMG_3378 (3) Monarch on sunflower
Monarch on sunflower, photo by jgagnon63@yahoo.com

The Michigan DNR page on Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus) says:

Often called the Milkweed Butterfly, this large black veined orange winged butterfly can be observed feeding on milkweed. During its mating behavior, the adult male monarch will display a “courtship dance.” Perching on the tips of the milkweed, it will fly to other large butterflies to see if one is a female monarch; if it is, they will fly together in a fast, darting flight, lasting up to a minute and covering many yards and to a height of 100 feet.

As fall approaches, the monarchs can be seen in large numbers migrating along the Great Lakes shorelines enroute to Mexico and Central America.

Monarch butterfly populations have been declining in Michigan for the last decade, and it appears that last winter was another tough blow for this beleaguered beauty. You can learn a lot more about Monarch butterflies and how to help protect them at Monarch Watch.

View jgagnon’s photo background bigalicious and see more in his slideshow.

There’s one in every crowd

There's one in every crowd

There’s one in every crowd, photo by Bill Dolak

Here’s hoping that whatever you stand for, you stand proud & strong! Enjoy your weekend folks!!

Check out Bill’s photo background bigtacular and see more in his massive Michigan: Kalamazoo County slideshow.

In addition to desktop backgrounds for summer in Michigan, one thing that Michigan in Pictures stands for is sunflowers – lots more at that link!

Sunflower in Fog

Sunflower in Fog

Sunflower in Fog, photo by guizhou2012

I know that lots of you are wishing for summer and 70 degrees.

View this photo background big and see more in Yonghui Chen’s Sunflower slideshow.

If you want to fight the power, there’s more summer wallpaper on Michigan in Pictures.

Mr. Sunshine: Sunflowers in Michigan

Mr. Sunshine . . .

Mr. Sunshine…, photo by Dr. Farnsworth

Michigan Gardener is a fantastic site that can give you all kinds of help with what to put in your garden and how to make it grow. They have a nice article about sunflowers featuring Bob Koenders, owner of the Backyard Bouquet Farm. It begins:

According to the Michigan Department of Agriculture, in 1997 there were 32 farms growing sunflowers on 1,522 acres, and by 2002 there were 91 farms with 2,275 acres. Most of the fields of open sunflowers are oil seed type, grown for oil or seed (for birds or humans). Their heads were bred to hang down, making it more difficult for birds to eat the seeds and rain to ruin the harvest.

…According to the National Sunflower Association, the wild sunflower is native to North America, but commercialization of the plant was done by Russia. It was only somewhat recently that the sunflower plant “returned” to America. Native Americans first developed the wild sunflower into a single-headed plant with a variety of seed colors including black, red, white, and striped black and white. Some archeologists suggest that sunflowers may have been domesticated before corn. The Native Americans used the sunflower seed for grinding into flour, trail snacks, purple dyes, body painting, ceremonial, and medicinal uses. Sunflower oil was used for making bread, as well as on skin and hair. The dried stalks were even used for building materials.

They add some fun facts about sunflowers:

  • Sunflower’s scientific name is Helianthus; Helios meaning “sun” and anthos meaning “flower.”
  • Sunflower heads track the sun’s movement; this phenomenon is called heliotropism.
  • Sunflowers can grow up to 12 inches a day during the peak of the growing season. They are more photosynthetic than many other plants and better utilize the sun for growth.
  • Sunflower stems were used as filling for life jackets.
  • Sunflower leaves are cupped to channel the water down the stem.
  • Sunflower heads consist of 1,000 to 2,000 individual flowers joined by a receptacle base. The large petals around the edge of the sunflower head are individual ray flowers which do not develop into seed.
  • The world record sunflower with the most heads (837) was grown in Michigan in 2001.

Read on for lots more including tips about growing sunflowers and get tons more sunflower info from the National Sunflower Association.

Check Dale’s photo out background bigtacular and see more in his Flower slideshow.