03-15-14 Knee Deep

2014 03-15 Ankle Deep by Watertown, South Dakota, photographer Scott Shephard

Twelve minutes after I took the photo you saw yesterday, the road dipped through a low spot where sunflowers that hadn’t gotten harvested last fall stood in frozen water. I had almost driven past when I stopped, backed up about 1/4 mile and studied these sunflowers. The dark blue color of the ice, the orange tones of the heads and the way the sunflower stalks were reflected in the ice are what stopped me. I probably took 15 photos but this one ended up being the “keeper.”

You may think it strange of me to anthropomorphize* sunflowers. But to me, they look like crowds of frail, old people standing with drooping heads. And, more than that, I am struck by the juxtaposition** that sunflowers represent: they are one of the most beautiful South Dakota crops in their prime but one of the homeliest just before harvest. Is there some kind of metaphor here about you and me? Who knows. I just hope I never have to stand in frozen water. . . .

*Polysyllabic word #1!
**Polysyllabic word #2!

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