I just came up the driveway and startled a pair of squirrels who were halfway up the sunflower stalks. In prior years, the sunflower stalks snapped and drooped early from the increasing weight and the seeds were quickly polished off. This is the first year they’ve remained standing, due in part to my bungee cord fix. I gathered the stalks together like a bunch of broccoli and secured them with a pair of bungees. They’ve supported each other beautifully.
I ran inside for the camera and went back to check on the plants. The squirrels are pulling out the seeds in little groups, shelling them from their perch and littering the flower bed with shells. I’m reminded of friends in the past who’ve tried giving up smoking: they would leave little piles of sunflower shells in various locations, just like the squirrels. I doubt the squirrels are trying to give anything up. They’re just staying true to the genetic code that says “fall is coming; time to stock up!”