Saturday, July 21, 2012

I Been Robbed

I have been burgled.

Thieves have struck Scarborough Acres.  One day all was well, the next - ‘poof’ - the goods were gone.  By the light of a waning moon burglars had not simply left their mark, they had taken it with them, along with my stuff.
Gone, split, disappeared, with no hope of a return.  All that was left were a few tangled wisps of gold mixed with shards and splinters.

I’ve seen the culprits. They’ve been hanging around, always on the lookout for something they can get away with. They’ve been getting bolder lately, standing out in the open, watching. We certainly didn’t expect this.
This was bold and brazen. This was in your face.  This was eat the fat blossom right off the top of the sunflower stalk and sprinkle what was left at the base just to let me know he/she/it could.

I plant sunflowers every year. Local farmers are baffled by my insistence on planting these – in their opinions - giant weeds. Our rural friends spend a great deal of time and energy ridding their fields of these golden giants and can’t understand why someone would purposefully plant a garden full. (I plant milkweed too. Gotta feed the butterflies.) Me, I love watching them grow from gangly youngsters to towering kings of all they survey. It’s a pleasure to be greeted each morning with such wide open delight circled in a tousled amber crown.

Not this year, however.  Under cover of darkness, a thief or thieves actually removed the heads of nearly my entire crop. Evidently dessert was not on the menu, the only tops left are hardly a mouthful, even for a small, hungry creature of the night.

The thing is, it didn’t need to happen. I’d have shared. The plan has always been to grow a batch of big fat sunflowers, then enjoy a plein air painting extravaganza  just a few steps from my back door.  When I had my fill of painting golden halos against blue skies and the heads began to droop I would have stepped aside and welcomed any number of birds or squirrels, which ever got there first.
2010 Patricia Scarborough Square 16 - Sunflowers  Private Collection

2011 Patricia Scarborough  Salute!  Available at Graham Gallery

Someone cut in line, and now I’ve been robbed, raided, bamboozled even. (Maybe not bamboozled. I just like the word.)  There goes the neighborhood. If I want to go on my usual August sunflower painting jag I'm going to have to go hunting for them far beyond the comfort of my yard.

Looking for sunflowers for 2012

While you're waiting for my sunflower paintings from the summer of 2012, stop by The Burkholder Project in Lincoln, Ne. You've got 2 more weeks to see "Common Ground" featuring your intrepid sunflower painter and ceramic artist Sharon Ohmberger. It's worth a peak. Quick! Before it's gone!


bluesurly said...

I'm betting it was those evil raccoon's.......

Patty said...

Do you think? The stalks are only about an inch and a half thick. I've got really determined squirrels around here, and they've been givin' me the eye...

Hannah Hunter said...

O.k.--you've got me curious--are the bandits only squirrels? Or perhaps deer dropping by for a midnight snack? In any case, wish you were here. The farmers in our county grow whole fields of them! I love to drive down a nearby road, watching all of their heads turned toward the sun, so many golden could paint to your heart's content.

Patty said...

To be honest, I don't know what ate my pretty sunflowers. My assumption is squirrels, the stalks are not heavy enough to hold up a raccoon, and too tall for the neighbor kids to reach. Plus, I saw one of the squirrels from the corner of my eye looking very guilty.

Karine Swenson said...

I would have put my money on deer, but if you say squirrels, then I believe you. The NERVE!