Sunflower Fields Forever

Saturday was my get-away day. I didn’t mind getting up at sunrise to drive over the mountains so I would arrive at Hope Field before the crowds hit and the sunlight became too harsh. Hope Field is a vast field planted with sunflowers, just outside the city of Harrisonburg, Virginia. It was open to the public for the weekend, donations accepted as a fundraiser for a local hospital’s fund for uninsured patients.

Already, people were spreading out into the field searching for their very own perfect bundle of sunflowers.

Me – I was happy to meander through the undulating sunflower fields to the far end hunting for perfect pictures. I decided early on that I would not pick any flowers since my arms were full with camera and camera bag and I had forgotten to bring a bucket for picked flowers. This way, I could concentrate on both the beauty of the flowers and the humans who came to admire them. By the time I left, there must have been a few hundred people in the field – young and old, men and women, entire families, college friends, people from all walks of life.

Here, at the corner of Sunflower Avenue and Sun Salutation Boulevard, nature and humans intersect – for purpose and pleasure. Sunflowers provide so much: prolific pollen to honey bees and other insects, seeds, seed oil, winter fodder for animals (silage), biofuel, sunny bouquets, and sheer beauty.

Children were fun to watch – almost swallowed up by the tall sunflowers, some of them played hide-and-seek, others stroked leaves or petals and eagerly helped their parents to pick out their very own flowers.

And the bouquets people gathered! A bounty of gold and green, summer colors harvested as a large, heavy bundle.

And here are the stars of Hope Field in their full glory:

For the second time this week, I had witnessed how nature brought people together sharing awe and admiration: the solar eclipse and this immense field of sunflowers. I left with a big smile and a sense of peacefulness in my heart.

The DP Weekly Photo Challenge: Corner.

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About Beauty Along the Road

A blog about discovering beauty in all its ordinary and extraordinary manifestations.
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57 Responses to Sunflower Fields Forever

  1. Amazing beautiful Sunflowers πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Gorgeous images. Lovely post.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great photos! I love how moments like that can make you feel so good. Nature has a lot to give us!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Irene says:

    Thanks for this lovely post and photos . Brought sunshine to a rainy morning in Indiana. 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Shibin Dinesh says:

    Great photos! Keep clicking!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Julie says:

    Stunning! I love all those sunny faces.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Great Story and some really good images. The charity idea is an excellent concept. It would be tempting to go there on a day without the crowds, but since it is private prpoperty that idea would be impolite to say the very least. Closer to us, the Maryland state government has a wildlife management area where sunflowers are planted every year and is open to the public at no charge. Taking sunflowers is discouraged but there are a lot of photo ops and, so far, fewer people. It has become a traditional July destination for me and a number of my photo colleagues.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hi Robin – they raised $36,000 and counting over the weekend. If you want to be reminded next year and want to go for a day trip to Harrisonburg, you may want to like their Facebook page Hope Field. It is an annual event. They did open it up to photographers only the day before the public was allowed in, for a $75 fee. Where is the site you mentioned in MD?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hi, thanks for your reply; somehow I missed it until now. Anyway, that’s an impressive amount to raise, obviously a popular event. The idea of providing separate access to photographers on a given day is tempting and the fee seems reasonable, especially if it goes to charity. The field in Maryland is in Poolesville, MD, near the Potomac River. Just do an Internet search on McKee-Beshers WIldlife Management Area and you should be able to get directions. They often seed several fields, some in hard to locate spots, but the main one on River Road is pretty easy because of the gravel parking lot (flowers are not visible from the road). The main trick is knowing when they are at peak, but typically in mid-July. I usually monitor their status along with several fellow photographers so if you think you might want to check it out and can’t find info on their blooming status, send me an email in early July (kentro@cox.net) and I’ll keep you updated.

        Like

  8. chelawriter says:

    Out here in the West a smaller wild sunflower is a weed, taking over pasture and crowding out good forage. No good edible seeds, but pretty flowers that also turn acres yellow. Wish ours were as useful as the lovely big ones you enjoyed.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Keira says:

    Beautiful photos!!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. The Kansas sunflower is not as large as the Russian variety, but it has more plentiful blossoms. And, it is not a weed, but the state flower.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Beautiful photos, flowers, and musings on the intersections of people and nature. I love the idea of nature’s beauty helping us humans to find our way back to love, connection, and beauty. May we gather in fields of beauty and love to celebrate life! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  12. glendanp says:

    Beautiful!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. glendanp says:

    Reblogged this on Ipseity Road and commented:
    Beautiful photos and words. Bring a little sunshine into your life.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Jennifer Dunham says:

    What a happy place to be! Lovely pictures!

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Wonderful! I love going to fields of sunflowers to take pictures, although I haven’t made it this year. I am probably too late. I especially love your close-up shots. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Haralee says:

    Gorgeous pictures! Sunflowers just make me happy. We had lots of sunflowers in past years along our front lawn, all volunteers. We were known as the house with all the sunflowers! Some of the stalks were like small tree trunks.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Claudia says:

    How awesome! I love when I hear of unusual and wonderful places to visit! And there is something about sunflowers that bring a smile to everyone’s face. Bet yours was hurting after smiling all day!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Bumba says:

    Wow. Need to wake up Vincent Van Gogh but then we’d only have to bury him again.;)

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Beautiful, and it made me a little sad that I was through Harrisonburg twice this past week (going to and from South Carolina for the eclipse) and never knew about this field. I wish I could have seen it from afar. I used to live in Kansas years ago, and know if the beauty of their sunflowers, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh well, at least you saw the eclipse – that was an awesome experience. If I had an idea that 89% coverage would be so very different from 100% totality, I would have taken up a friend’s invitation for driving to SC for the event!

      Like

  20. de Wets Wild says:

    Gorgeous, Annette! No wonder people flock there in such numbers!

    Liked by 2 people

  21. patllosa says:

    Lovely, lovely, lovely!

    Patty de Llosa patllosa@gmail.com http://www.practiceofpresence.com http://www.findingtimeforyourself.com

    Let yourelf be silently drawn to the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray. Rumi

    >

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Such beautiful pictures filled with happiness.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. Pingback: Solar Awe | writing to freedom

  24. Don’t you just absolutely love sunflowers? Their so happy and cheerful looking. Their one of if not my favorite summer flower. It’s no wonder why this field fills up with crowds of peopleπŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  25. samba2017 says:

    A really uplifting post which made me smile. Thanks for sharing! I love the name “Hope Field” as well. Gives me ideas for a poem! I have a poetry blog here on WordPress and today’s post is about sunflowers in case you have time to look? Sunny greetings, Sam πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  26. loshame says:

    I like your post 😊.

    Like

  27. Tina Schell says:

    The number of people is ALMOST more amazing than the glorious flowers! There’s a similar field on one of the hikes around the Biltmore Mansion in which I spent a wonderful time shooting away. May favorite shots captured the butterflies on the flowers. But there was no-one else other than me that day – even more amazing!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The reason why there were so many people there is this: the sunflower field is only open to the public on one weekend when anyone can visit and give a donation to a charity. I believe that the family that owns the field makes special exceptions for photographers during other times ….but for a (hefty) price. I enjoyed all the people and watching them enjoy themselves among the sunflowers. Thanks for visiting, Tina.

      Like

  28. Dina says:

    Fantastic!! 🌻🌻🌻 I have never seen anything like this. πŸ™‚ A haven for photography. πŸ™‚ Congratulations, your photos are outstanding.

    Like

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