Sunflowers and the Photography Pre-Bucket List

I’m anticipating having a little more time to travel and make photographs after my retirement from werk at the end of June, 2018. I’ve been building a list of things and places I want to photograph after The Great Day arrives. This isn’t a “bucket list,” so far as I know. Unless I’m going to trip over or in some other way kick the proverbial bucket soon, I plan to be around to photograph another year. (But, as Woody Allen reminds us, “If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.”) Anyway, something that has made the list are SUNFLOWERS.

The first place that came to mind for sunflower photos was the Kansas, the self-described “Sunflower State” and home of my best friend since kindergarten.


Grinter Farms, 24154 Stillwell Road, is on U.S. 40 between Tonganoxie and Lawrence. From Kansas City, you can take Interstate 70 West and exit at the Tonganoxie exit or the East Lawrence exit. There is no admission, but donations are accepted. Visitors are discouraged if it’s rainy or muddy. Labor Day Weekened is when the huge crowds go.

Information below taken from

Crop Sunflowers

You will need to edge into Reno County or other counties to see the large fields, such as those west of Hutchinson on Reno County’s Fourth Street Road

The biggest fields of sunflower crops are found in northwest Kansas. Sherman County produces more sunflowers than anywhere else in the state.

And in Goodland – the Sherman County seat and the sunflower capital of Kansas – you can find a giant reproduction of Vincent van Gogh’s “Three Sunflowers in a Vase.”

Wild Sunflowers

To see the Kansas state flower, the Helianthus annuus, simply drive a back road in almost any of the state’s 105 counties. You will see the smaller, wild, uninhibited sunflowers standing in defiance of wind, drought, rain and almost anything else Kansas weather can throw at them.


There’s no easier place to find sunflowers than the Midwest. Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota grow more than 85 percent of the U.S. crop. Starting in late July, vast stretches of sunflowers unfold their yellow blossoms, turning Midwest fields into swaying seas of gold.

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