A sunflower in bloom (and gloom), suffering from a varying self-esteem problem, possibly bipolar disorder, plucks its petals one by one reciting to itself “I love me… I love me not…”.

I have vague recollections of children at school picking dandelions and plucking petals to allegedly determine if they were ‘loved’ by a person they fancied. Of course the result depended on the number of petals of the flower and also whether they began with “He / She loves me” or “She /He loves me not”. Usually though, the former was said first.

Dandelions were quite popular with children back then. The main reason was perhaps because they were in abundance. Girls used to pick them, put a split in the stem of each and thread one through another to make a dandelion chain (usually this was referred to as a daisy chain because it was commonly done with daisies).

Then there was the supposed determination of a person’s love of butter by holding a dandelion under their chin. If there was a yellow reflection on the skin (which there invariably was if the sun was shining), then that individual was said to like butter. Whether they actually did or not seemed to be of little importance. I don’t know why they didn’t simply ask of the flower recipient, “Do you like butter?”.

The sunflower in bloom pictured above is struggling with intermittent self love / loathing. When I showed it to a friend, he said it was a sad (as in gloomy) cartoon. Then he counted the petals and reported that the flower would end on “I love me”, so it was in fact a happy cartoon. I didn’t count the petals or work it out to check.

I’m very fond of sunflowers. I have planted a few this year. They haven’t flowered yet but should do soon. I just hope that when they do, they don’t start pulling out their own petals.

Update (Jan 21, 2016):

The sunflowers bloomed recently and a few images are below.

Yesterday I went out to find one of the flowers had lost many of its petals. It wasn’t a particularly windy day so maybe a bird attacked it. Another alternative is it somehow did manage to pull out its own petals.

Today the flowers received a small visitor (as shown in the third image).

Sunflower 1Sunflower 2Sunflower 3 (with bee)