We have been cutting the flowers off the stalk when they fell (wind, whatever) and placing them on the picnic table to dry. Bad idea. They have gotten wet in recent rains and many of the heads were soggy and beginning to decompose. In the future, the heads need to be arranged on newspaper in a dry place, probably the floor of the garage. I know that creates a risk of mice getting to them before the birds.
We should have wore gloves, too. Some of the heads were a bit sticky and all of them produced enough friction on the fingers that gloves would have added protection. There are still plenty of sunflowers standing in the garden so this operation will have to be completed later.
The "Giant" variety of sunflowers have a lighter colored seed which is much fatter than the regular variety. The plants become massive, growing easily to 10 - 12 feet tall.
The regular sunflowers produce a thin, dark seed. This is the seed that's normally found in bags of birdseed. The whorls of each are an example of Mother Nature's great artistry.
We poured our collected seeds into a cardboard box where I'll stir the seed daily with my fingers to remove any moisture. Eventually we'll bag them and hold them for the birds this winter.
I marvel that all these seeds came from two small packets of seeds a few months ago. The multiplication in that short time is a miracle of sorts.