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.

Categories: Outdoors

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  1. Jim

    That is a super picture of the sunflower field. I like sunflowers, these are so pretty. I’m not sure who has the most, South Dakota or Kansas?

    If you have figured out if the baby is a boy or girl, I don’t know. You could name the girl Sunflower (she’s “a sunflower from the Sunflower State”).
    My Dad’s (age 96 now) ex girl friend has a son named Sunflower in Nebraska. He is a hippy type.


    terah Reply:

    We heard that Sunflower song for the first time last year at the Kansas State Fair. Do you happen to know who wrote or performed it? I’d love to have a recording!


    Jim Reply:

    Russ Morgan recorded it in 1949. I remember when it was on the top 10.
    You can Google ‘Sunflower lyrics’ for the words.

    I don’t have it, I just remember it and sing it to Mrs. Jim when we enter Kansas on the Turnpike. doesn’t know the song.

    It ought to be available up there, MP3 I think.

    Google thinks Dean Martin also recorded it, and maybe Mack David.

    I wish I could help more.


  2. cliff

    John, The sunflowers are great and 2-4 D will take care of them. Good luck on the arrival. Like catfish, we are waiting for news of the baby’s arrival with bated breath.


  3. The Changelog

    Big news over here: earlier this week, our first baby was born: Jacob Simon Goerzen! He weighed in at 8 lbs, 12 oz and is doing well.

    Terah was in labor most of the day, but eventually the doctor determined he was too big, so was delivered by C-sectio


  4. LN

    We heard that Sunflower song for the first time last year at the Kansas State Fair. Do you happen to know who wrote or performed it? I’d love to have a recording!
    #1.1 terah (Homepage) on 2006-09-24 22:05 (Reply)

    Five artists scored a top 30 hit with Sunflower in 1949 they are in order of highest chart placing as follows.

    #5 Russ Morgan
    # 12 Jack Fulton(former Paul Whiteman Orch singer)
    # 13 Jack Smith
    # 14 Frank Sinatra
    # 19 Ray Mc Kinley
    # 28 Jack Kilty

    interestly , a court ruling found the 1964 hit Hello Dolly to be based directly upon ththe song Sunflower.


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