Outside of Lawrence, halfway to Tonganoxie, there is a sea of gold, stretching out as far as the eye can see.
I've lived in this town for over 20 years and this was my first visit there. How could I have been missing out on walking through the rows of sunflowers? What was I thinking?
While I always thought it sounded pretty and that I'd like to go and see the flowers in bloom, I had no idea that the field would have such an enchanted feel to it.
Lots of families were there, all taking photos, probably a dozen cars full of people. But, the moment you step into the rows of flowers and are swallowed up by the blossoms, you are alone in a world of yellow and green, lost in the rows of looming giants.
How strange, to be ten minutes outside of the city, and amidst at least 50 other people, but feel so isolated and hidden.
But not in a scary way, it is a magical feel. No, an enchanted feeling. That is the only way to describe it.
I grew up in the middle of an Indiana corn field. Walking into the corn, and into the sunflower field is similar, but the flowers are so much prettier and special. I loved playing the corn when I was young, and could lose myself in the stalks, or find a hiding place to lay back reading a book for a few hours with my Irish Setter as a pillow.
The sunflowers had me reminiscing about those days in the Hoosier corn fields, but as much as I enjoyed those times out in my brother-in-law's crop, this was something different. At some points, we were completely hidden away, with flowers topping 8-9'. Other spots, they where shorter, or there was a slight hill to stand on and we could see acres of yellow off into the horizon.
I think my girls shared my excitement. I don't know how you could walk out into the vastness of the field and not feel the magic.
In some spots, there are clearings, that beckoned me to grab a dog for a pillow and bring a good book to hide out with for a while. I could have easily spent hours in one of those little rooms with green walls.
And then, there would be places so dense, we had to back track and find a new route through, and we'd wonder just how far we'd wondered from the car, just to find out that we were actually only ten feet from the road.
And woven all about the stems, were blue morning glories, the color of our Dorothy's gown.
We discovered that sunflowers weren't just to admire, you could also play with them.
By plucking out a few seeds, you can make happy faces, we wanted them to look like they were laughing, so they would feel as happy as we did.
I hope that others walking through the field see our sunny faces and smile back at them.
Sugarwings made a happy face too.
The fields are free to visit, anyone is welcome. The farmers ask that you leave them as you found them, take out your trash, and pay a dollar each for any flowers that you pick. There is a donation box to help the land owner defray the costs of the field.
We paid for the ones we defaced (well, really we "faced" them) and we picked a couple too.
I hope to take Dewdrop there for a few pictures too. I think she'd look cute in a fairy gown. Being dwarfed by the towering blooms makes a perfect backdrop for a fairy photo shoot.
Plus, I just can't wait to get back there myself.