We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
BD, you've got some great property. The nature inquiries appear boundless, the flowers you have shared with us magnificent.
Not that it's important to others but I would find that the apparent choices for moments of solitude and reflection are also within your bounds.
To rest beside a brook and simply be. A great reward..
When I was a child, the appearance of sunflowers along the former Chicago and Northwestern Railroad embankment signaled that summer was moving towards fall...and that meant school would resume soon: a thought that, even when we had real education in the US, depressed me. Those flowers came in several varieties and sizes, not like the giant ones that so many gardens now have. And they grew wonderfully wild in the heart of the city--before landscape architecture condemned everything to form and structure.
I did find a wonderful Mexican variety that has slightly orangish blooms and is in bush form rather than being a single stalk. I also get some sunflowers coming from seeds from the bird feeder than were missed by gluttonous sparrows and manic squirrels.
The patch in your photo looks quite familiar--I have seen them along the Chicago River, which runs through our forest preserves a quarter mile from my home. This forest land comprises a large chunk surrounding the city and mixed into the suburbs. The preserves are left fairly wild and is one of Chicago's unheralded attractions--at 67,000 acres, I believe. The link for the Cook County Forest Preserve District is:
The Chicago River now is fairly clean--and as rivers go is just more of a large stream left behind from the glaciers. To the west, the DesPlaines River also goes through other sections of forest preserves along with a number of manmade lakes.