Bryan Hemming

short stories, comment, articles, humour and photography

Autumn’s rusty fingers start painting their way …

Sunflower Harvest 2015 013The field by us was harvested of its sunflower seeds yesterday afternoon, signalling the end of the summer season. As we’ve watched the blossoms go through their growing cycle two summers on the trot, I expect some other crop will be planted next year. If that proves to be the case, we’ll miss the extra sunshine their golden faces bring. By the time the giant yellow harvester trundled into view, dragging its dusty wake behind, the beautiful green leaves had shrivelled to scorched black paper, clinging to dismal black stalks. The sooty faces hanging so sadly, it was almost as though a bush fire had swept through the field. It’ll put a sharp end to the merry chatter of sparrows, feasting to their heart’s content, we’ve heard over the last month or more. They’ll be some wet eyes and damp feathers back at the nest, methinks.


6 comments on “Autumn’s rusty fingers start painting their way …

  1. LaVagabonde
    September 10, 2015

    Gazing at a field of sunflowers is a guaranteed cure for the blues. It must seem like a void to see that field without them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bryan Hemming
      September 11, 2015

      You’re right. The harvesting of the sunflower seeds is a signpost to autumn and winter. Because they are named after, and follow the path of, the summer sun through our skies, the void of unforgettable summers is within us. Yet the vacancy the massacre, scything of sunflowers created, became filled with fields and majestic hills stripped of the mantles rich summer had afforded them, and that also has its beautiful meaning.


  2. rangewriter
    August 28, 2015

    I just realized that I’ve never seen sunflowers havested. I realize they are now big business, and I did see plenty of lovely fields of sunflowers in southern France. I think it would be interesting to watch the harvest process. But, sad to see the field dark and barren.


  3. Stuart M. Perkins
    August 27, 2015

    That’s great. Love those photos.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Bryan Hemming
    August 27, 2015

    You got me shivering a bit there, Wesley. It’s quite a while since I appreciated all the seasons in their fullness. But even when I was young I longed for the return of summer during the eternally grey English winters.

    Last time I felt Jack Frost’s fingers clawing inside my jacket just happened to be in New York, early December, 2008. And that’s the only time in the last thirteen years.

    Though much of Spain – even the far south – sees some snow and frost in the winter, it never gets even near freezing on the Costa de la Luz. It can feel pretty chilly though, as the houses are badly heated with almost no proper insulation.


  5. Colltales
    August 27, 2015

    Autumn, with all its poetry and sense of transcendence, always makes me shudder a bit inside. Loving summer and the heat as I do, I can’t help but wonder whether I’ll be up for another chilling season, and the frost, and the feeling that the cold will set in for good, and I’ll sink a bit lower within the depths of my detachment. Also whether this will be my last, of course, or rather, was it the summer that’s just leaving us. In any case, with all their glare and outwardness, and a bit forceful status as icons of the whole season – even though van Gogh made sure to inflict a permanent smudge right in the middle of their mystic -, sunflowers do make me happy and I’m sad when they wilt and prepare for the long oblivion. Thanks for this.

    Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on August 27, 2015 by in Articles.

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