Last year, or perhaps the year before, a lady friend who previously blogged under the nom du net of Jo Gillis sent me a batch of sunflower seeds harvested from some she’d grown that year. This is the first one to present itself among the mostly smaller lemon queen sunflowers that surround it.

It is magnificificifitrifiwificent. And I photographed it not just because it is bodacious, but because the squirrels are apt to come get it, behead it and take it away any minute. Literally: at any time.

Having decimated the backyard patch, they’ve now quit ignoring the flowers of Coyote Corner and have started their path of piecemeal destruction. And I am doing my level best through clenched fists, teeth, and sphincter to leave the pellet gun alone and understand that squirrels are a part of the econiche and are just exploiting the resources made available.

But it’s hard. And it’ll be harder when I look out the window and see this beauty gone.