Sunday, August 21, 2011

Back to the Routine

It's late, bedtime actually. Tomorrow classes for fall semester begin at the University of Northern Colorado. It is such a cliche to ask "Where did the summer go?" But go it did. I am beginning my 17th year teaching  3 of sections freshman composition and 1 section of introduction to literature. I will teach from 8 AM until 2:30 PM Monday, Wednesday, and Friday with two classes in the morning and two in the afternoon. Then I will tutor in the Writing Center Monday and Wednesday from 2:30-3:30. I will have Thursdays off--days to grade papers and clean house.  I love my work with 18 year olds. They are amazing young people and I do learn from them, too.

Summer ends and finally the new kid in the garden blooms, the teddy bear sunflower. I planted 6 seeds with only one that germinated and grew to rather glorious maturity. It will be quite interesting next summer to see any hybrids emerge from cross pollinating with Teddy.

 Teddy's face is the brightest yellow.

 It takes a couple of days for Teddy's face to acquire its characteristic fuzzy look. I was quite surprised to see that the Teddy Bear Sunflower has multiple heads to one stalk.

 Next year I will plant Teddy out in the garden--a safe distance for the coral fence to keep Sun Dance from snacking on it.

Standing tall along side the wild hybrid sunflowers, Teddy's bright sunny face smiles boldly.

Teddy was the only sunflower that I planted this year, but look at this beauty. It grew only a few feet from Teddy towering above the Black Eyed Susans at about 12 feet high. A single headed sunflower perfectly formed, bright and sunny towers over the garden.

I have been obsessed with taking photos of the sunflowers. In days to come I'll pick through the best of them and share them with you, but it's bed time. I've got a long day tomorrow. Have a good week, everyone.


  1. Wow! Teddy is gorgeous! I have some mammoth sunflower right now. They are huge but I only have 4 of them. You probably have 40 and they look wonderful. I particularly like the fuzzy look in the second photo.

    Btw, your caption has been selected and posted today. Thank you for your contribution.

    Glad you enjoy what you do.

  2. Wow, Wow, Wow! Absolutely beautiful! I must have planted mine late because they are not blooming yet. I think we planted everything late this year, we worried about getting the strawberries in first. Good luck in the new school year.

  3. I have never seen a sunflower quite like that. It is gorgeous!

  4. No wonder you are obbessed with taking photos of sunflowers! Yours are gorgeous.
    Enjoy your teaching year!

  5. Your sunflowers are beautiful, I just love the variety!

  6. I think school years go faster than normal one's!
    I love sunflowers and they are beauties. The Blue sky helps to make them look even brighter!

  7. Love it- so Van Gogh! And what a busy schedule you have- makes me tired just reading about it. Me, I'm staying in the garden and enjoying the REST of summer. It aint over till it's over!

  8. Gorgeous Teddy, just stunning!
    Hope the return to "normal" has gone well, you certainly have a full schedule in the months ahead.
    Looking forward to seeing more sunflower shots soon.

  9. Wow, Teddy is a pretty sunflower! Even though my back yard is hot and dry, I never have much luck getting them to germinate. I suspect the birds are eating them! My cleomes, however, have been super easy to grow and collect seeds.

  10. Hi Ann! I bet you are a fantastic English prof!
    How long does it take you to get adjusted? I'm hoping it only takes a week. Your sunflowers are gorgeous! So happy!

  11. Good morning Ann,
    Spectacular is the only word for these beauties. I would be obsessed with taking photos too if I had these in my garden. The colors of the oranges and yellows against the blue sky are so brilliant. Thank you for sharing!

  12. hi Ann,
    I just love the blue and yellow together, no wonder you love taking photos of sunflowers. And Colorado always has the bluest of skies so we are lucky that way.
    It's been hot up at our place, how is it your way?

  13. The sunflowers looks amazing! I wish I could grow some in my garden.
    I also wonder where did summer go. The season went by so fast

  14. Wow Ann,
    Teddy is amazing! the flowers look striking against the blue sky,
    Have a lovely weekend xx

  15. Oh teddy is such a fuzzy wuzzy flower - no wonder it got that name.

  16. I love sunflowers. I grew Teddy Bear sunflowers this year as well. Some of mine are just starting to come into bloom; they're planted in a pot/tub and are really short in height (so far). I also have the giant tall sunflowers but they're not blooming yet. Sunflowers are so much fun! Hope the first well back to work goes well! Kelli

  17. Congratulations, Ann! Your caption has been selected and Donna commented that it is the best!