When I first heard about McKee-Beshers Wildlife Management Area in Seneca, Maryland, I couldn't believe that a massive field of sunflowers existed only 20 miles from my house. For some reason, I expect fields of sunflowers to be found in places like Indiana - not Montgomery County, Maryland.
My second thought was I have to get over there immediately with my camera! And for once, this wasn't something I found out about too late, after the sunflowers were dead. Evidently, the middle of July is the peak for sunflower blooms.
This place did not disappoint. As we walked around the corner, we gasped at the sight of thousands of sunflowers as far as you can see. Luckily, the sky and clouds were amazing that day, too.
You couldn't help but be amazed at the beauty of nature at a place like this. Unfortunately, there is a rather sinister reason that the sunflower fields exist. They are planted to attract doves - and later in the season the fields are opened up to dove hunters. So this extraordinary field of flowers is actually a killing field. There were even shotgun shells discarded between the rows of blooms. Poor doves. But I tried to ignore that aspect of the fields as I went a little crazy with my camera...
Photographer walking through the sunflower fields.
I wasn't the only one with the idea to photograph the sunflowers - there were lots of other photographers there - some with fancy set-ups and reflectors and other equipment I have no idea how to use. This was one of those places where it was impossible to take a bad picture, but difficult to take an excellent one - how to get a really unique shot of sunflowers?
Larry pretending to be a sunflower.
All in all, it was a beautiful sunny summer day and the sunflowers were definitely worth checking out.
To top it all off, we came home and cooked up one of the best meals we've made in a long time to enjoy on the patio: Pork Tenderloin with Tomato-Peach Compote, Zucchini-Ricotta Fritters, Carmelized Onion and Goat Cheese Cornbread, and homemade Strawberry Gelato. Oh, and a few glasses of chilled Vouvray. (Can't forget the wine!)
Me and Mom on the patio.