Well, here we are. Another year has passed. It's funny how time just slips by sometimes. I remember thinking about going to Grinter Farms again earlier this year, but then realizing it was still several months before the sunflowers would be in bloom. Plenty of time to do other things. Lots of other pictures to capture. Then all of a sudden, it's September again. Time to head out to the farm while the sunflowers are at their peak. They don't last long, in the grand scheme of things. Kind of like so many other things. They are here, then gone in the blink of an eye.
This year's peak began over Labor Day weekend. Remembering the crowds from last year, there was no way I was going to attempt to go then. I waited a couple extra days and headed down to Grinter's the Tuesday evening after the holiday weekend. The flowers were still full and bright, and definitely photogenic. There were also plenty of people there that evening. It has really become the place to be for anyone in the area who likes sunflowers. I'm not sure how many different photoshoots I saw that evening. There were tons of photographers with huge softboxes, strobes, and all sorts of props. It was like a giant outdoor studio.
The great thing about coming here is that you can pretty much go anywhere you want in the fields. It's not too difficult to get away from the crowds, if that's what you want. Most people stay near the edges closest to the parking areas. I go about as far away from the parking as I can get. Most people also leave as soon as the sun sets. That just happens to be when good things really start happening in the sky, as the colors really start to pop.
Last year, I stuck around until well after dark to capture the Milky Way. No such luck this year, as the moon was full (or near full), washing out most of the stars. By the time the skies are dark enough again, the sunflowers are going to be pretty much done for the season. That's OK though; it's still fun while it lasts, and such a neat place to visit. If you've never been there, then put it on your calendar for next year. It's worth the trip if you are anywhere close to the area. Even if you're not a photographer.