67 thoughts on “September Song

    1. Things are fairly sedate around here, but we have only grade schools and a middle school in the neighborhood. With the parents still doing the driving — and the 20 mph school zones — there’s not much screeching to be heard. At the high schools? That might be a different story.

      In any event, I much prefer the clank of a sunflower.

    2. When we lived in a different house and school started again, we could hear marching band practice out on the field early in the day. Really loved that, especially once our son joined the group. 300 talented kids — there were so many of them they hardly marched, never competed. But oh the sound! :) Thanks for the memory.

      1. Now and then I get the pleasure of driving past a parking lot where a marching band practices. It always tickles me to hear them practicing some of the same marches we played, even though they do plenty of modern music, too. It’s one of those sounds of fall that never clatters or clanks!

      1. I wondered about the significance of the 3. Now I know.

        There are countless roadside objects all over the world. We humans seem to erect these things a lot. It’s fun to notice them and wonder what the background story might be. Melanie and I are quite good at making up tales to explain them.

        You know the grottos erected to the Blessed Virgin Mary from bathtubs stood on end? They are partly submerged and painted light blue inside. Years ago while driving through the upper peninsula of MI, we passed a farm house with 4 in a row. I don’t know why we didn’t turn around and get a picture.

        Then there is the world’s largest strawberry in Strawberry Point IA. Surely, you’ve seen it???

        1. Can you believe I had to look on a map to locate Strawberry Point? Obviously, I’ve never seen the strawberry, although I have seen the World’s Largest Pecan, in Seguin, Texas. Seguin’s pecan lost its title in the 1980s to some folks in Missouri, but recently (2012, I believe) they built a bigger nut and reclaimed the title.

          I have seen those bathtub shrines, and find them touching. I can’t quite figure out why there would be four in a row, but of course there’s a reason — of some sort.

    1. They surely do, especially when there’s a lot of moisture around. But I’ve been told there are rust-resistant hybrids, and I suspect this is one. If it ever did suffer from rust, I think a dose or two of Krylon would take care of it just fine.

    1. Here’s your amusement for the morning, Martha. Until 10 p.m. last night, I had no idea what that 3 was about. I was reminded of the sunflower when I wrote my post about Van Gogh and his sunflowers, and thought I should do something with it.

      It wasn’t until I read the machine shop’s page last night that I discovered the meaning of the 3. I only had eyes for the sunflower, and here I’ve stumbled into the world of auto racing. At least now I know Earnhardt’s car bore the number 3.

        1. True. But at least now I know that the 3 in front of the shop isn’t just some random 3. It’s a memorial 3.

          Once I started reading about Dodie Miller’s work with fast cars and vintage cars, the Earnhardt tribute makes all the sense in the world. The only business dealings I’ve had with the shop involved aluminum fuel tanks. When you’ve had to cut apart a fuel tank to get it out of a boat, it’s good to have someone who can put it back together.

  1. Ha!
    Even though I have NASCAR fans in my family, I didn’t know about the 3. Now I know. There’s nothing more cheerful than a sunflower. H grew them for me when we were at Dad’s. He told me that he is going to plant them on the side of our house next summer.

    1. Well, as I mentioned to Martha, I had no clue about that number. I’ve always assumed it was there only an one more example of the kind of work the shop could do. Silly, unaware me — but then I’ve never watched a NASCAR race, or followed their news. I wonder how many other worlds out there I know nothing about? Plenty, I’m sure.

      I completely agree about the cheerfulness of the sunflowers. I’ve passed this one nearly every day for years, and always smile. The nice thing about sunflowers is that, after they’re done making us cheerful, their seeds can keep the birds cheerful for a good bit longer.

  2. A clever photo and poem as well. The fellow that crafted/welded the sunflower is quite good. This type of art, as I know it, is called metal art. Very simple indeed and I reckon that anyone could figure that out. My son makes a few things out of metal but nothing that is on par with this one.

    I shall need to put him in the direction of making a windmill or wind chimes in the shape of a flower of sorts or maybe even a bird or what ever. Then I’d hear all sorts of banging/ clanking/clanging in the wind.

    1. He is good, Yvonne. I first met him when I had an aluminum fuel tank that needed to be reassembled, but he does a good bit of stainless steel work, too. If you need curved fittings, or have some stainless steel tubing that needs to be bent — and precise — he’s the one to do it. I see that he even made a stainless steel pelican. That would be worth seeing.

      I like metal wind chimes. In fact, I have a set, and I just thought, “Where did those things disappear to?” Well, they’re hanging right where they always hang. But they only ring on NW-N-NE winds, so it’s been months since I’ve heard them. Apparently “out of sound” can put something out of mind, as well as “out of sight.”

  3. A metal sunflower? Ummm … Reminds me of those ornamental windmills in rural Alberta. But how does that flower relate to the car and the number 3? I admit I’m totally lost. :)

    1. So many questions! But you’re in luck, because I can answer them — now. Twenty-four hours ago, I couldn’t have.

      The sunflower’s in front of a metal fabrication and welding shop I pass every day. It’s been there for some time. Years, maybe. After I wrote my Van Gogh sunflower post, I saw it as if for the first time, and thought, “I ought to do something with that sunflower, too.” Hence: the photo and the poem.

      The truck is nothing more than the vehicle the owner drives to work every day. One of the things he loves is putting together race cars, and the number 3 is the number associated with NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt, who was killed in a race in 2001. The combination of Earnhardt’s number and the sunflower is, in fact, a tribute to the driver.

      So there you have it. I didn’t know any of this when I came up with the haiku. I just assume the sunflower, the number, a windmill, and a few other things outside the frame of the photo were just examples of the metal workers art.

      1. I recognized the “3” as Earnhardt’s number and wasn’t sure how I’d missed that you were a NASCAR fan. Now I wonder if there is particular significance to choosing a sunflower to honor him. Then again, sometimes a sunflower is just a sunflower.

        1. I have an answer for “why the sunflower?”, too. It’s easier to make than a rose, or bougainvillea. And, it faces the traffic nicely, so people waiting through the interminable red light at that corner have something nice to look at.

    1. None from me, either, although it did tickle me just a bit to make a heavy metal reference. Still, we’re back into the realm of preferences. To my ear, the clanking and clattering of the sunflower is far more enjoyable than anything Megadeth or Metallica’s come up with. More staying power, too.

      1. Now that’s funny. I don’t believe I have ever listened to Megadeth until just now when I YouTubed them. Thanks for the introduction but I probably will not do it again. I find Metallica (I have heard them while riding around with my younger co-workers) a little easier for the listening. I never thought I had any head-banger in me, but maybe just a little.

        1. I still remember the first time I saw a young man in a car flailing about as though he was having a seizure. Lucky for me a friend was along who could explain the term head-banger, and suggest that the kid probably was listening to music.

  4. That’s a wonderful haiku. :) I’m enjoying September out here, even if this coming week will be nothing but thunder storms…. fitting, given your verses!

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed the haiku, Alex. I don’t come across many humorous haiku, but it seemed just right in this case. Enjoy your storms. We’ve had several in the past two weeks, and it’s been quite a delight to have them back — apart from the power outages, of course.

  5. Chuckle chuckle…love this! I’ll share it with my daughter, who reluctantly accompanies me in the field to study the flora around us and has learned right alongside me, and whose favorite band is Metallica.

  6. I was wondering if you were going to stop that sunflower from standing lonely as a cloud and match it up with a post. It always makes me smile.
    (Wouldn’t it be nice if HWY 3 had their road signs dressed up like that all the way down the road…and they could do bluebonnets or paintbrushes for HWYs west, Dogwoods for Palestine/E. TX…cactus for waaaaaay west? Towns along the roads could propose what flower they’d think appropriate. How much fun to have some whimsy – like there used to be before interstates. Oh, those old signs were bright spots. Where’s the petition page for TXDOT? Jobs program for artists! Travel industry would approve. See the USA from your car once again…)OK way off topic.
    A post of many smiles!

    1. I think it’s a wonderful idea, Phil. The native plant societies would like it, too. Maybe those are the people to initiate the project. It would be educational, too — just in case fun and whimsy aren’t justification enough.

      Speaking of whimsey — or something — have you heard about the huge, Mediterranean-style complex on Trinity Bay? It’s between Double Bayou and Anahuac. It’s all white stucco, and includes a chapel. The gates were open yesterday, and I managed a photo or two, but decided it was private and left. (The fancy fishing boat parked next to the house was one clue.) It’s really weird. It was a bit like someone had picked up Santorini and plunked it down next to the bay.

      1. I found this explanation on a fishing forum, where the place was acknowledged to be one of the best landmarks along the east bay shoreline. “George and Laura Pontikes own the compound. Greek Orthodox. Nice people. General Contractor, Houston ”

        That explains the resemblance to Santorini, and the chapel. Here’s a bit on Mr. Pontikes. Just saying “general contractor” doesn’t quite do it.

          1. It was gorgeous, that’s for sure. I didn’t linger long enough or have the inclination to photograph the houses on the property, but their shutters and decoration are the same vibrant blue you see in the Greek islands. With Saturday’s blue sky and white clouds, it was stunning.

      2. There are places like that around – I’m intrigued about this one. Woodlands has that really secure one built on a little island in a lake. Not sure who’s there now since one of the big owners was hauled to MX court/jail.
        We have friends in MX, S.America, Middle East where compounds are common for safety…now there’s a scary thought.
        I do like the flower HWY signs idea…maybe look around some for contacts in the garden club world. Dad used to really enjoy those groups once he retired – and the small towns get very much into competition..

  7. I love your poem! And the sunflower. That 3 though… :) When we moved to Ohio my brother-in-law gave us a 3 bumper sticker so that when we went back “home” to NC we wouldn’t be hassled. Ha!

    1. Clearly, that perky sunflower deserved a little notice. Can you imagine standing there at the side of the road for years, with no one smiling back at you? Those days are over.

      I printed out a copy of the photo and poem, and the next time I’m over there, I’ll give it to Dodie to put up on the bulletin board for a few days. I suspect they’ll get a kick out of it — the notice, if not the poem.

      Good for your brother-in-law. Bumper stickers are important, as I learned when I showed up in Texas with Iowa plates and an “I Love NY” bumper sticker. Not many months later, the car was totalled in a wreck. Some people were convinced it was divine intervention.

  8. I’m glad your sunflower rocks on. I came home from the lake to find my two potted ones dead as doornails. Well, maybe not quite — the greenery is still there; the blooms long gone. Sigh. I do love them.

    1. Well, it probably was time for them to come to the end of their flowering. It is September, after all. Why I feel like it ought to still be July, I don’t know, but I’m glad it’s not. I’m ready to move on into a new season.

      Down here, we’re just about to the time of the Maximillian sunflowers, which are nice fall bloomers. They aren’t shown in Lansing on the USDA map, but they’re to the east and west of you. Maybe you’ll find some!

  9. I was as lost as Arti when I tried to “understand” the picture. Maybe we should not try to, just enjoy the juxtaposition of these three items. Now of course I do : the poem and the meaning of the sunflowers and the number 3. Our tournesols (turning towards the sun, literally translated) have gone long ago, not enough rain and Fall is at the door. I am ready also to welcome Autumn.

    1. It’s so funny to me, Isa, that I never “saw” the number three. It’s a perfect example of what the critics and writing instructors say — once a piece is out of your hands, what others see in it, or read from it, may differ significantly from what was intended!

      Of course, that’s part of what makes art so rich: its ability to evoke different responses.

      We still have the common sunflower abloom, though they are fading. I’m going to the country this weekend, and hope to find some of the Maximilian sunflowers — so pretty. But yes: autumn means oven cooked meals, and open windows, and fresh breezes. It’s time!

      And I must say, it’s lovely beyond words to see you stopping by. I trust all is well in your world, and that your health is good.

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