Sunflowers of Summer

Sunflowers – a friend says they have PMA (Positive Mental Attitude). It is hard not to smile around sunflowers. That may be especially true with a gorgeous New Mexico sky as a background. Enjoy.

Multiple bees are very busy on these!


Colorful Sunflowers and Busy Bees

This stalk is very tall, and I cannot see what the face of this sunflower looks like. It certainly looks interesting from the base, looking up. I am anxious for the buds to open so I can see what this particular flower really looks like.


TALL Sunflower


Colorful Sunflower

Albuquerque August

Albuquerque August

Albuquerque August

Albuquerque August: the smell of roasting chiles, frequent afternoon monsoon showers and occasionally heavy rains, the last days of the rufous hummingbirds, and a view toward the State Fair, Balloon Fiesta, and arrival of the sandhill cranes and other migratory birds. August suggests the coming of fall in New Mexico, one of the truly magical seasons here. But, August has magic of its own!

A typically beautiful sunrise one August morning, calm and colorful. The afternoon brought a 1.5 inch rain to my house, very welcome and needed moisture! However, the flash flooding that followed resulted in one known death yesterday. Stay away from arroyos, and don’t drive through running water on a roadway!

Albuquerque August

August Sunrise. Late Afternoon Brought a Monsoon Rain!

I planted cosmos somewhat late this year, and they are beginning to bloom. They are a lot of fun to photograph. The goldfinches will soon be playing in them, eating seeds. The black-chinned hummingbirds, who stay later than the rufous, will enjoy the nectar of these flowers until they head south. I just enjoy photographing cosmos.

Albuquerque August

Cosmos – Another August Flower in Albuquerque

The sunflowers are in full bloom, and attracting many very busy bees. These bees are laden with pollen!

Albuquerque August

Albuquerque August: Bright Sunflower and Busy Bees!

Albuquerque August

More August Sunflowers


Late Summer Flowers

Late Summer Flowers

The Earth Laughs with Flowers ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Late summer flowers in the Middle Rio Grande Valley of New Mexico are magnificent.

late summer flowers

Cosmos in Corrales

Visiting with friends Tim and Laurie is always fun. Visits usually include Tim and I photographing, and Laurie sketching. This weekend was no different. Our “photographic expeditions and excursions” are on temporary hold. However, we make the most of what is locally available. Their property always has great photo ops, but their Lively Meadow is especially lively in late summer.

A forest of sunflowers greets the arriving visitor. As I was driving into Corrales, I almost stopped to photograph some sunflowers growing along the highway. I laughed at myself as I drove into their property. I was also glad I did not stop along the highway!

late summer flowers


The tall sunflowers provide a natural backdrop for the cosmos.

late summer flowers

Sunflowers and Cosmos

Cosmos are a riot of color. The little blue flowers are morning glories.

late summer flowers

Colorful Cosmos

Laurie sketched while Tim and I photographed.

late summer flowers

Laurie Sketching

Later, as we always do, we went back to the house and deck.

Tim and Spunk:

man and cat

Tim and Spunk

On the deck and outdoor kitchen:

man hat coffee

Tim Relaxing



I don’t know how or why, but something a little special and always unpredictable seems to appear at just the right time. I love this beautiful, sparkly little damsel fly that visited the butterfly bush as we were enjoying conversation on the deck.

damsel fly

Damsel Fly

A beautiful late summer day with friends and flowers.

Sunflower and Bee

Sunflower and BIG Bee

Sunflower and BIG Bee

Update from Baldo Villegas, regarding identification:

this is not a carpenter bee. This is an anthophorid bee. This group of bees are famous for pollinating sunflowers. The males have longer antennae than the females and this is usually how I recognize them right away. Unfortunately, I can’t see the antennae from the picture so my guess is that it is a female.

I’ll be working to get a better image showing the antennae!
Thank you, Baldo!

Sunflower and big bee, and a beautiful blue New Mexico sky! I was out photographing goldfinches playing on the spent sunflowers and cosmos, enjoying the seeds and showing it. This time of year I see a lot of pollinators on most of the flowers in the yards, buzzing around, very busily. Sometimes I specifically photograph them. But, this particular day I was focusing on the goldfinches.

As I sat on my porch enjoying a quiet afternoon, I saw what, at least from a distance, appeared to be a HUGE bee. I’m used to the black and yellow “bumble bees,” and the smaller brown and yellow bees. But this had the appearance of a brown and yellow bee, but very large, and spending a lot of time working a sunflower. Finally, I had to investigate more closely, even though I knew the birds would fly, at least for a bit.

Sunflower and Big Bee

Sunflower and Large Bee

Sunflower and Big Bee

Sunflower and Large Bee

As you can see, this was, indeed, a very large bee. And, it had been very busy! It was covered with pollen it had collected from the sunflower. I think it may be a male carpenter bee, although I need to check this identification.

Under any circumstances, it was a new bee for me, and certainly caught my eye even though I thought I would focus on birds that particular day.


Sunflowers and Birds

Sunflowers and birds of all kinds go together naturally and beautifully. Several years ago some “volunteers” came up from the seeds I had been feeding. The birds loved the fresh seeds that formed when those flowers finished blooming! The goldfinches preferred them over the expensive nyger seed. The house finches love them, and the doves hang around under the flowers waiting for the other birds to drop an occasional seed. Since that first year of volunteers, I plant sunflowers each year. Although I always intend to plant them right after average frost-free date, some years I don’t get them planted until mid-summer, giving me and the birds flowers and seeds in the autumn. This year I got them planted early, and the flowers have peaked and the birds are enjoying the seeds. Within the next couple of weeks I’ll be removing the spent ones, and resowing seeds for a second bloom in fall. While this past Fourth of July weekend was an extremely busy one, I did make time to relax one afternoon and photograph some of the birds enjoying the sunflower seeds.

sunflowers and goldfinch

Male Goldfinch

Sunflowers and Birds

Male Goldfinch

sunflowers and birds

Male Goldfinch Taking Flight

Sunflowers and Birds

Male Goldfinch

Sunflowers and Birds

Male and Female Goldfinches

sunflowers and birds

Male and Female Goldfinches

cosmos summer flower

Summer Flowers

It Is Not Too Early to Dream of Summer Flowers

Summer Flowers – such a wide range of vivid colors with which to paint a landscape – or a container or two. These flowers are a reminder of summer. Here in the Southwest, we have had an exceptionally mild winter. This collection is especially for my friends in the Northeast, caught in the seemingly Winter of Endless Snow! Although the winter here has been mild, I’m ready for some summer flowers, too! 🙂

The flowers of summer shown here are easy to grow, and most attract butterflies and bees. Some are annuals, some are perennials, but all bring beauty. I always grow some of these, even though I grow more roses than anything else. Variety is good! Some of these are from my yard, some are from the home of friends Tim and Laurie, and some are from the Albuquerque BioPark.

summer flower cosmos

Cosmos, Fibonacci Sequence

summer flowers

Fibonacci Sequence, Dahlia

ranunculus spring flower

Ranunculus, Fibonacci Sequence

summer flower sunflower

Sunflower, Fibonacci Sequence

summer flowers

Mexican Sunflower

summer flowers brown-eyed Susan

Brown-eyed Susan

summer flowers echinacea



Note Cards Now Available

Note cards seem to be what people need now. I have received requests for note cards with some of my floral images, and I am happy to announce that 5″x7″ note cards are now available here.

note cards

Ambridge Rose

Sunflower Note Card


The note cards are available in both landscape and portrait orientations.

The note cards are available in packs of 25, all the same image, with envelopes included. These are blank note cards, leaving you plenty of space to write notes.

There are a variety of paper options, all the same price. If you are not sure which paper you want, I would recommend the “Linen” paper for note cards.

These images are suitable for more than just notes. They can be framed in 5″x7″ frames readily available in many places, or in 8″x10″ frames with mat openings for a 5″x7″ image. You may think of many more uses.

More images may be added over time.

I thank you for your interest.