Another Missive from the balcony

One day, I noticed two tiny sprouts growing amidst my petunias. Undoubtedly, they were the consequence of this winter’s birdfeeding. Recognizing them as sunflowers, I transplanted them into a commodious flower pot, where they could attain their full size. They rapidly expressed their DNA, and grew tall.

To my great chagrin—they were doing so well!—sometime before I woke up one morning Macauley, the more mischievous of my 2 orange tabbies broke one of the stalks in half. Clear through. I immediately performed an emergency graft, with the aid of scotch tape. I couldn’t imagine that all the ruptured cellular tubes would manage to reconnect with their severed mates, but figured it was worth a try.

Well, in fact, Nature is hardy, and those tiny torn capillaries repaired themselves, to successfully bring nutrients and water up and down the growing stem.

A few weeks later I was rewarded with a batch of sunny blooms. Curiously, the plant that had suffered early trauma outdid its companion—it pushed out seven flowers, while the un-traumatized plant only produced one. (I don’t know if there’s a useful metaphor in that story.)

It is so satisfying to see bees buzzing around the showy blossoms. They did their work, so I was rewarded with seeds. And I observed that somehow, while my lazy cats lolled around in bed, early birds came to eat the harvest, because someone had eaten a third of the ripened seeds. I’m guessing it was a Mesange, a pretty chickadee-type local bird (you can their cousins the Mesange Charbonnière here). And I’m sure it wasn’t tidy in its meal, thus ensuring that there’ll be a sunflower crop on my balcony next year.

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