September 24th, 2006
There are a lot of beautiful fall colors that will be showing up in forests around the world shortly.
But here in Kansas, we get a little jump on the colors because this is sunflower season.
If you drive around Kansas this time of year (roughly August and September), you’ll see sunflowers all over the place. The wild sunflowers thrive anywhere there’s nobody to plow them under or mow them down. If you pick the right country road, you can drive along and see what looks like a yellow wall in the distance. As you get closer, you realize that you’re seeing sunflowers growing along a small stream or creek, though they’ve completely hidden it.
Although I grew up here, I had never really paid attention to the sunflowers. Back in 2002, as we were moving to Kansas from Indiana, Terah noticed the wild sunflowers. She’d never seen wild sunflowers and has really enjoyed them ever since (and so have I).
So, here are some sunflower photos, for those of you that have never had the chance to travel some of the back roads of Kansas.
First we start with a small bunch of wild sunflowers:
This small patch is growing in the ditch by our farm (our house is in that clump of trees in the background). These sunflowers are pretty young, so they aren’t very tall yet. Also, there’s a butterly fluttering around in that photo.
Most of the wild sunflowers get much taller than these. They seem to usually grow to about 5 to 7 feet (1.5 – 2.1m) tall. Here’s a taller patch, about 1/2 mile away from the first one:
Neither of these two example photos show a very “deep” view of a group of sunflowers, because they are so dense that it’s hard to really see what the individual plants look like in such a photo.
But here’s a photo of a sunflower field:
These sunflowers don’t grow as tall as their wild cousins, but their flower heads are quite a bit larger. This type of sunflower can be found many places. Wild sunflowers like we have here can be found in different places, too, but I’ve never seen them so common as here in Kansas.