Last week my daughter and I took a field trip to Columbia Bottom Conservation Area, just outside of St. Louis, to see the sunflower fields.
The pictures we took simply can not capture the overwhelming peace and warmth that embraced me as we stood among these beautiful giants. In the middle of that field, on that perfect summer day, I knew God was gifting us with a tiny slice of heaven. For a few hours my daughter and I left the stress of the world behind and simply breathed in the beauty that surrounded us. As we explored, we observed bees and butterflies coming to the field for nourishment. We witnessed frogs hopping around our feet and discovered wooly caterpillars munching on young leaves in preparation for their own transformation. We were fascinated by the young sunflowers, rhythmically following the sun with precision and felt honored to be a spectator.
The Transformation of the Sunflower- The life cycle of the sunflower is one of nature’s many marvels. The fact that a mammoth flower grows from a tiny seed and provides food for a variety of insects during the two weeks it is in bloom is simply amazing! And it continues to be a food source when its brilliant yellow leaves wither to brown and its head droops and faces the earth. Sunflower seeds are a valuable food source for birds, chipmunks, squirrels, raccoons and even people!
Sunflower Cookies– When we returned home we made Cardinal Cookies, a peanut butter based cookie with sunflower seeds as a main ingredient! Named after the Cardinal songbird (who loves to eat sunflower seeds), this delicious treat is one my kindergarten class enjoyed when we visited Little Creek Nature Center on district field trips. CLICK HERE for the yummy recipe
The Sunflower House– While we snacked on our freshly baked Cardinal Cookies, we read The Sunflower House by Eve Bunting. This delightful book introduces the reader to the life cycle of a sunflower through the eyes of a boy who plants some sunflower seeds and plays in the sunflower field with his friend all summer long. It has always been a favorite book to read but after our visit to see the sunflowers, my daughter and I could make connections while we read and the story truly came to life!