I watched with happiness as my sunflowers grew, flowered and formed seed heads.
The little flowers on the heads dried and began to fall off.
|Ripening sunflower seeds|
The warm sunshine of August and September ripened the seeds.
The striped seeds could be seen drying in the sun. We started to have some cooler temperatures and some rain one morning followed by a sunny, warm afternoon, so I harvested most of the seed heads and brought them inside to continue drying. I have them a couple of hours in a warm oven to try to make sure they were dry, I let them cool overnight and to prevent any rodents from getting into them, I put the seeds, heads and all into some empty metal coffee cans with plastic lids. A couple of months passed and we had our first few inches of snow that stuck and an extended cold spell with temperatures staying below freezing for several days. Certain by now all of the bears would be in hibernation, I pulled out my bird feeders and pulled out the containers with my home-grown sunflower seeds.
|Mold growing on a sunflower seed head|