Design a site like this with
Get started


<<Featured Image: This week’s featured image shows our backyard and my view of it when I sit outside in my lounge chair. All this green is always a welcome sight after the long, brown winters here.>>


While walking out in the back yard this past week, I decided to take several pictures of our perennial sunflowers to show the various stages of development. This member of the sunflower family (Asteraceae, commonly known as the aster or daisy family) is a small specimen of the sunflower. We have a patch of this beautiful plant, which is a perennial, meaning the flowers come back every year. Besides making a gorgeous display of yellow, they also attract insects.

I think it is quite interesting to look at how a flower unfolds. I remember being fascinated as a child whenever I would see a series of time-lapse pictures of flowers developing. This isn’t a true time-lapse series because I took pictures of different flowers in different stages, not just one flower photographed over time to show it developing. But the end result is still pretty much the same. I hope you enjoy the slideshow below showing the process.


Several times a day I take a walk around the back yard to check out my vegetable garden, and also to look for praying mantises. So far I haven’t seen any mantises, but I know we will have some soon. On one of these walks the other day I was stopped in my tracks by a hummingbird who was feeding at our penstemon plant. This plant is a favorite of the hummers and as long as it is blooming, we usually see a hummer there more often than at any other flower in our garden. Once I spotted the hummer I slowly took my phone out of my pocket and started videoing. I held as still as I could, but the hummer kept an eye on me nonetheless. I do believe he visited almost every one of the flowers on this plant. It looked like an immature Rufous Hummingbird (link here). This is one of four hummingbirds that are commonly seen in Eastern Washington. The others are Calliope Hummingbird, Anna’s Hummingbird, and occasionally the Black-Chinned Hummingbird. I am happy any time that I get to see a hummingbird.



My butterfly bush is finally starting to bloom. I always love this plant because it is a major beneficial insect attractant, and a good hummingbird attractant as well. We have had several different varieties of butterfly bushes over the years here in Yakima. They are quite invasive over on the Western side of the state, due to all of the rain that falls there. They pop up voluntarily all over the place in the Seattle area, but here in the desert part of the state they have to be planted. We usually have a butterfly bush survive for a few years and then succumb to a colder-than-normal winter. But as far as attracting all kinds of bugs, and hummers, it is probably the best plant for that.

The video below begins with an unusual-looking bee, known as a Sweat Bee, on the perennial sunflower, and then switches over to the Western Tiger Swallowtail butterfly on the butterfly bush. I have slowed the butterfly video way down in the hopes that you can see him probing the flower with his proboscis (tongue).



Whenever I refer to “garden” during the summertime, I mean the vegetable garden, which is my responsibility. The flower garden belongs to Linda and we all have her to thank for the beautiful blooms that we get there. But my focus in the summer is on the vegetables, and let me tell you, it sometimes is very frustrating. Since Linda and I love our beneficial insects (and the birds) so much, we do not use any chemicals in our gardening. Every year, it is a constant battle between me and the not-beneficial insects (looking at you guys, earwigs) to keep my veggie plants from getting eaten up. So far the bugs have totally eaten up two of my zucchini plants leaving me with one, and out of the eight cucumbers I planted, I only have four left, one of which is iffy. And if that wasn’t enough, this morning I went out to check on things and found that one of the two red cherry tomatoes out there on the Sweet 100 tomato bush had been picked off, pecked at, and thrown on the ground. I picked the other one a few days ago and ate it, so I was going to pick this one this morning. Something beat me to it, and I suspect it was a Robin that I saw hopping around the garden. At least he could have eaten it so it wouldn’t be a waste!




We got in a couple of walks this past week, and I even managed to take a bike ride one morning. It really felt good to get on my bike, but my body is not used to it and I did get a little bit sore. Hopefully I will be able to ride it some more.

On one of our walks we came upon a most unusual-looking plant that was hanging over the sidewalk. We picked a couple of stems from it and brought them home. Upon looking it up online, I found that it is a Chinese Lantern plant (link here). It looks exactly like a tomatilla plant (they belong to the same family) except the lanterns on tomatilla plants do not turn orange when mature. This plant is quite invasive and toxic, so we won’t be growing any, but I think it makes a very attractive arrangement for our mantle.



Little Summer Girl usually follows me around when I’m out in the yard. The other day I decided to sit on the front porch, so I could be in the sun because it STILL hasn’t gotten hot here. She followed me out there and promptly plonked herself down in the dirt.


Join me every Wednesday (barring any unforeseen circumstances) for more from the Southerner in the Northwest.

Published by Peg

In 2007, my partner and I decided to pull up stakes from North Carolina, where I had lived all my life, and move to the Pacific Northwest to be closer to her family. When I retired, I decided to write a blog because I had always wanted to be a writer, but somehow never found the time for it while I was working. I figured that writing a blog would give me the chance to share my thoughts with others, and also combine my interest in writing and photography in one place.

14 thoughts on “THE VIEW FROM HERE

  1. I’m delighted to see how the Swallowtail feeds! That is, how its proboscis works — it darts in and out. I mentioned this insect tongue in a recent post about the Moth Hummingbird. That creature zips back and forth so rapidly that it appears as a blur.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, I remember that post. The Hummingbird Moth does move really fast, the Tiger Swallowtail does slow down from time to time. I haven’t seen a Hummingbird Moth in years, would love to video one now. Thanks for reading, Jo!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I planted Japanese Lanterns and have been weeding them ever since! I like them best in the fall when the lanterns are papery and the stalks are bone white brittle stems. No leaves. The toxic part is the berry inside. I’ve never seen anything die from it in the yard, but there are a great many lovely toxic flowers. I do, however, try to keep the nightshade out! I’m always surprised when people voluntarily plant morning glory or nettles or hounds tooth..OR hops!! lol We ended up digging that up, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I planted some regular sunflower seeds around the outskirts of my garden in 4 places this year. All the spots except one have been completely eaten up, you can’t tell anything even came up. One spot is hanging in there, and surprisingly I had a few volunteers come up inside the garden, and 3 of those have survived.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: