I don’t know how long sunflowers have been planted each spring for mourning doves at the McKee-Beshers Wildlife Management Area, but I’ve been taking photos of them for at least 20-years now. The specific fields that are planted with sunflowers change from year to year, but there are at least two fields and as many as four. This year there are four fields and the best of them is quite a hike compared to prior years. Last year – during the pandemic lockdown – the sunflower fields were an absolute zoo during the blooming period, with literally many hundreds or even thousands of daily visitors more than normal.
Photo info: Sunflower blooms McKee-Beshers Wildlife Management Area Poolesville, Maryland July 2021 Voigtländer 65/2.0 APO Macro lens Sony a7 III digital camera
We decided to rehome our small flock of egg-laying chickens recently. Since we plan to sell our property here and move out to Montana within the next two years, we need to begin getting the yard recovered from where the chicken coop and run were located – because the chickens had stripped the ground completely bare, and getting the grass in that patch to match the rest of the lawn will take some time. But until then, we have some rogue sunflowers that began to grow around the edge of the chicken run – and they are now looking gorgeous.
Photo info: Sunflower bloom Poolesville, Maryland July 2021 Apple iPhone 12 Pro
Every year the caretakers at the nearby McKee Beshers Wildlife Management Area plant several designated fields with sunflowers to feed mourning doves, other songbirds, mammals, and pollinators. And every year I seek them out to take some photos, occasionally do some plein air watercolor paintings, and just enjoy the spectacular displays of the gorgeous blooms.
Photo info: Sunflower (Helianthus) field McKee Beshers Wildlife Management Area Poolesville, Maryland July 2015 Voigtländer Ultron 21/1.8 ASPH lens Sony a6000 digital camera