Summer Sunflowers

Last year, our affection for these summer beauties reached its height just as the sunflowers reached theirs. The conditions were perfect for sunflower abundance. We celebrated sunflowers for weeks, watching them grow towards the sun, sketching them and thinking of them as we were filling up tummies with our beloved SunButter® made from sunflower seeds.

This year we planted seeds all around. Under the windows, in the beds, in the garden. Alas, either a sneaky squirrel was watching us or the rains didn’t reach the seeds at the right time. This year, we’ve only had the sunflowers right around our bird feeder. But that hasn’t quashed our enthusiasm.

Or the gold finch’s enjoyment.

We took an up close look at our sunflowers.

Some needed a boost.

We noticed the rays, the individual flowers in the center or head. The leaves, the tall, tall stalk.

And we sketched and we painted!

We followed the instructions in the July Outdoor Hour Challenge newsletter for how to ‘fill in with color.’ What fun we had with that!

Can you see the hidden smiley face in eight-year-old’s journal page?

12-year-old’s journal page. Entry made with chalk pastels.

Another day – Eight-year-old’s sketch with watercolor pencils (a new medium for us!)

Eight-year-old’s computer-drawn sketch (I think she likes sunflowers   :)   )

On another day we stopped at the local vegetable stand, hopped out and looked up close. We’ve almost run off the road staring at this field full of flowers as we drive by.

Then we came home with some luscious additions for supper.

So, even though we thought we’d really studied sunflowers last year, all the new ideas on the handy sunflower grid (available in the July Nature Newsletter – link below) helped us see new parts of our sunflowers. Helped us to appreciate these beauties even more!

“The sunflower is not a single flower but is a large number of flowers living together; and each little flower, or floret, as it is called, has its own work to do.” ~Handbook of Nature Study

Resources for sunflower study:

Next up…the bee count! (See one on our sunflower in the photo above?) This Saturday, July 16th is when the Great Sunflower Project requests we count bees. All the details here. Then, in our near future, more sunflower study as the flowers go to seed (which means more bird watching too!). Still more to learn!



  1. 2


    I know that next year all those sleeping seeds are going to wake up and you will not believe you planted so many. :)

    I love that you make so many connections in your study….most of all to food. My favorite photo this week is the goldfinch in the sunflower, so pretty.

    Thank you so much for sharing how the newsletter helped your family go a little deeper. Perfect.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge