On this day when many of you celebrate Easter I wish to greet you in your celebration of that important event in our history. Spring is well underway as is the 6th yearly Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. We are off to a wonderful start and I want to thank all of you for keeping your posts active during this time. I've been finding some outstanding posts on an array of topics as I'm sure you have been reading as well.
There is a beloved member of the A to Z community that I want to acknowledge and she is one that I'm sure that more than a few of us miss greatly. I also have a story to tell that has inspired this special Sunday post. I'll let you decide the significance of this story.
Dedicated to Tina Downey
I've received a number of inquiries as to why the 2015 A to Z badge says "For Tina" on it. Some thought that they had received the wrong badge that was intended for someone else. In order to answer this question for any others who might be wondering why Tina's name is on the badge it's because this year's challenge has been dedicated to Tina Downey who passed away last August 23rd. For several years of the A to Z Challenge Tina had been a strong motivator and the backbone of the April event, working on A to Z throughout the years as her labor of love for A to Z to make each April more successful that the previous one.
If you'd like to read more about Tina and her A to Z legacy you can read my tribute or the A to Z Team tribute to her. On September 8th, 2014 there was also a A to Z community wide tribute to Tina on many blogs of those who loved and appreciated her. My Sunflowers for Tina tribute tells the story of what I did in her honor and that leads up to my story of what happened recently.
A Message from Tina?
A couple days prior to the Sunflowers for Tina tribute I planted 20 to 30 sunflower seeds in a area behind my house. About half of these were planted in the area shown above. Sometime in late January--about the time the A to Z list opened-- I noticed a plant sprouting that I initially took to be a weed of some sort, but in hopes that it was one of the sunflowers actually growing I let it be. Over the next month or so this plant began to grow rapidly until it was over 6 feet high. I watched daily for a flower to bloom as April approached. A few days prior to the first of April signs of a impending bloom became evident.
On April 1st, the opening day of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge, the blossom opened. In the photo above you can see the complete sunflower plant.
Here is a closer view of the bloom as it appeared on April 1st.
On April 2nd the flower had opened a bit more.
By April 3rd the sunflower bloom was becoming more robust.
Here is how the flower looked on April 4th. The plant appears to be doing well and I'll be keeping watch over the course of April to monitor its progress.
What Do You Think?
Is this somewhat miraculous? Or merely a well-timed coincidence? I'll leave it to you to decide. All I know is that out of the over 20 seeds that I planted in drought-stricken California in what is lousy and perhaps even toxic soil and receiving no care other than a few rains, in my backyard one sunflower bloomed for Tina Downey on April 1st as the first day of the A to Z Challenge was underway.
Let us know in the comments what you think. What I do know is that right outside my kitchen window is a daily reminder of Tina and A to Z. Every time I walk into my kitchen and look out the window there is one sunflower standing tall. When I go into my backyard I take a moment to walk over to that flower and marvel. Few of the things that I plant in my yard actually grow or remain for long if they do grow. But there is one sunflower there now. And at just the right time to watch over the A to Z Challenge.
If you planted any sunflowers for Tina last fall, did any of yours appear yet? What do you think about the uniquely timed appearance of my sunflower?