My backyard sunflowers are simply glorious this summer. They were all "volunteers". Having originated from seeds of last year's sunflowers they germinated early in the spring and because of their healthy head start have grown to enormous heights.
When I found the little sunflower seedlings in April and May popping up all over I replanted them into the area I wanted to them to grow. Otherwise they would of taken over the whole garden to be sure.
But as much as I've enjoyed the beautiful bright blossoms I've loved watching the goldfinches come and eat. I've never seen this before in our backyard. Maybe I just wasn't paying attention but I think the warm, dry summer has been particularly beneficial for backyard wildlife watching.
We've had a record number of butterflies visit this summer also. And to think when we moved here our yard was a bare patch of scrubby grass.
A couple weeks ago as I was looking out the window, while I was supposed to be packing for our camp weekend, I happened to notice this card (painting by Sherri Buck Baldwin) that has a permanent spot on my kitchen window sill.
My father gave it to me two summers ago at the same time he gifted us with some money that helped me purchase my camera. The little butterfly holder was from a place card at my sister-in-law's wedding. I keep these little mementos in my kitchen because I love their simple garden beauty and they remind me of family.
And then I noticed that the very scene in the card was the habitat I have created in my backyard.
Years of planting and cultivating, digging and tending. And I now have a little wildlife oasis that attracts birds, bees and butterflies too.