Photography · Short Stories

Back Yard Photographer – Was Sunflowers, now just Sunflower

One remaining bloom

Sunflowers are supposed to be a good flower to add to your flower garden for pollinators. I am planting flowers and plants in the flower garden specifically to attract pollinators, but also to add some much needed color in that area of my yard. Now I just need to find a way to keep the destroyers (aka rabbits, squirrels and ground squirrels) from feasting on the new plants.

I bought a couple sunflower plants that each had about 5 or 6 blooming flowers on each. They were beautiful. The creamy yellow of the flowers with the rich green of the plant were a wonderful combination. I was very excited to get them home and planted. The sunflowers would add a natural blend to the small field of wildflowers and plants just beyond my property line. What a wonderful back drop to future photos of butterflies and bees! Ahhh… I was very happy with this purchase.

Once home I busily planted the sunflowers. I was hopeful that the plants were big enough that they wouldn’t be an attraction to the previously mentioned destroyers. I had already tried planting sunflowers from seed, but the destroyers and my bird friends had a feast. (Yes, in hindsight, I should have know that would happen.) As I had hoped, the plants looked perfect in their spot. I was very happy.

My daughter and my husband were fortunate enough to get to admire the latest addition to the flower garden with me. They might not agree with the “fortunate” statement, as I had actually demanded (in a loving way of course) that they view these flowers with me. After all the appropriate oohs and ahhs, they returned to what they had been doing and I had to get ready for my afternoon shift at work.

Before leaving for work I looked out to the flower garden for one more glance at the sunflowers. To my dismay about half of the blooms were gone. Remnants of the blooms were dispersed around the yard. A bunny was happily enjoying the fresh green leaves of the plants and the ground squirrels were having their fun with the blooms. Unfortunately, I had to get to work so I didn’t have time to check things further or to try to do something to slow down the destruction. There were a few blooms left, so I hoped they would remain until I got home and could take some pictures. Thank goodness I only had to work a half day!

By the time I got home all the blooms were gone. Most of the leaves were also destroyed. At closer inspection there were a few buds remaining, so there was still hope of future blooms and my dreams of photos with the pollinators. I would know more in a few days.

In post a few months ago I had mentioned my love/hate relationship with the destroyers (they really are quite cute and fun to watch). I am now at the love them a bit less part of our ongoing relationship. Here’s a few photos as reminders of just how cute they can be. (More of a reminder for me)

After a few days the remaining buds were blooming! It was a gloomy and raining day. In between rain showers I went out to take pictures of the remaining flowers. By the time I was able to get out there, there was one lone flower remaining and all of the other buds were gone. (I had seen a squirrel run off with one of the blooms.)

Here are some pictures of the last flower. I did some editing to brighten the color of the sunflower, but I think the darker background (due to poor lighting on the gloomy day) adds some drama to the photos.

Hope you like these!

All photos are originals by Kim Stites

Status on the sunflowers: They have really taken to their location. New leaves are showing and even some buds! They don’t seem to be as much of a treat for the destroyers right now (wildflowers are blooming), so I might end up getting those butterflies and bees photos yet!

Thank you for stopping by, checking out my blog and indulging my story of the lone sunflower. ๐Ÿ™‚

4 thoughts on “Back Yard Photographer – Was Sunflowers, now just Sunflower

  1. I understand the reason for this love and hate relationship. I feel sorry for you. Can you put these plants in pots?
    Sunflower is beautiful and I hope you get a chance to capture a bee on the flower ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Some plants respond to pruning and deadheading but those critters should wait till they at least set seed!
    We put in some bedding plants to fill the gaps now the spring flowers are finished and they have all been nibbled off! Saw the culprit, a tiny little vole!

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