The final piece and the initial drawing from my sketchbook.
I love this little guy! I kinda wonder if he was the one who ate the tops off my sunflower seedlings this week. I have never tried to grow sunflowers intentionally. Usually I just leave what sprouts up from what the birds drop, and am rewarded with sunflowers.
This year I thought I'd try planting some on my own, in different parts of the garden to see where they do best. So far the seedlings have sprouted up everywhere, but the last two nights, in one of those spots, someone has been eating the tops of the baby sunflowers! At first I thought it was a bunny, sneaking in through the front gate, so I put a slightly raised screen over the dirt. But the next morning more were gone. Someone got underneath! I've lost 10 so far, but there are still more growing.
Last year I had the best crop of tomatoes I've ever grown in Arizona, but the birds ate AT LEAST half before I could pick them. I guess they do get up earlier than I do. Here's a link to the illustration of one of those thieves.
Old Man Jasper remembered the days of his youth. Each year he walked into town with his guitar, hoping to play at Music Days. The first year they smiled and told him he was too young. "Come back when you're older," they said. The second year they chuckled at him, "You need to keep practicing." So he played day and night for the next year. The next year they told him he needed more experience. So he took his guitar with him everywhere in the village and played lovely music. He strummed in the corn fields, he picked in the barn, and he played at his grandma's funeral.
This year he was older. And practiced. And experienced. This was going to be his year.