Fun Flowers

Betty (me) with a sunflower
Sunflower Selfie

The Columbia Bottoms Conservation Area is about twenty-five miles from our home. It sits at the confluence of the Mississippi and the Missouri Rivers. It is a large, open area comprised of 4,316 acres.

Dan and I visited there several years back, riding bikes and hiking along the river. However, in 2019 there was extensive damage to the roads and trails due to flooding. All the trails and some of the paved roads remain closed. Right now, the only way to get to the confluence is to hike in one mile from a makeshift parking lot. The drive to the boat ramp is on a gravel road and is a much longer, round about path.

Even with the flood damage, Columbia Bottoms still has a bright and cheerful spot. In July and August, the conservation area contains several very large patches of sunflowers. These sunflowers are grown solely for food for doves and other birds. However, the sunflowers also draw lots of people. Many are photographers. Some are professional, but many are amateur ones, like myself, who just use their cell phone camera to try and capture some of the magic and the beauty of the fields.

Sunflower with a field of sunflowers in the background

I had read online that the sunflowers were blooming and would last through August. Because we are leaving soon on several trips, I had one small window on a Tuesday morning when I could see the sunflowers. If I didn’t go, I wouldn’t see their cheerful faces until next year. Dan had plans that morning, so I chose to go by myself. I didn’t feel alone though. There were thousands of sunflowers, each step giving me a new view, a different perspective of how pretty it all was.

Sunflower with two bees on it
Table for Two
Sunflower not yet opened up.  Field of sunflowers in the background.
Side view of a sunflower not yet opened up.  Blurred view of sunflower field in the background.
Side view of a sunflower almost ready to open.  The yellow petals are showing.
Expansive field of sunflowers
A very tall sunflower looking out over a field.
Watch Flower
Back of a sunflower
Time to Head Back
Back of sunflower field with the dirt road on the right side.
Walking Back to the Car
A drooping sunflower that has been pecked by birds.
Bird Buffet

I hope you enjoyed these photos. For even more photos, check the Columbia Bottoms Facebook page. Some of these photos are similar to mine, but others are just way better pictures. I especially like those with a sunrise.

Are there sunflower fields near you?

Sunflower with field and blue sky in the background.


  1. Beautiful photos, Betty! I found your comment about phone photography vs professional photographers to be interesting. I follow several professional photographers on Instagram who have switched to phone photography and some who switch back and forth between DSLR’s and phone cameras. In the first photography course I took, I remember that there was a gal there who had the most expensive camera on the market for that time, but had no idea how to use it. There was someone else there who commented that all they had brought was a little entry level DSLR. The instructor commented, “It’s not the camera that makes a photographer, it’s all about the person releasing the shutter”.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Terry. I totally agree with your comment. It’s the person, not the camera, that determines the level of the art. I went back and reread the sentence. Do you think I should clarify my meaning? I didn’t say professionals don’t use a cell phone camera. I did say some of the photographers were amateurs, like me, who use their … cell phone camera… I think most of the people there were just taking photos for fun and were using their cell phone camera. Let me know your thoughts. As a writer, I know what I mean, and I want to write it in such a way that my readers do, too.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh dear! I sure wasn’t criticizing your wording, or anything for that matter, Betty! I was just making a comment on what I took from it. I’m sure every person reads certain things differently, based on their own past experience. No need to change a single thing! It’s perfect as it is 😊

        Liked by 1 person

        • I do see your point though, but I’m not sure how to clarify without introducing a whole new train of thought – which could muddy the writing. I’ll be noodling this and may tweak the post. Your comment does give me an idea for another post on the topic. We’re traveling right now, so I’m going to file that idea in my mind for later. I appreciate your comment, Terry, and I hope you have a great day.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. That looks like a fun day. Love fields of flowers. Sunflowers are so beautiful!! I love all your angles of them. Front, side, back. The brilliant yellow color has such a grace to it. It’s an amazing color against that blue sky!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. These are beautiful, Betty, and it was nice to see a welcoming smile first! There is a giant field of sunflowers less than an hour from here which I stopped and photographed once on the way to the Delta. Happy travels. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. There are a few farmers in our area who grow sunflowers 🌻 for their oil. Apparently, sunflower oil can be added to diesel to make biodiesel, which is cheaper than regular diesel. We also have folks in our area who grow canola for its oil as well. However, canola is not as pretty to look at as sunflowers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I didn’t know what canola looked like, so I Googled it. It looks pretty to me! I like yellow. But I guess sunflowers do steal the show. Have a great weekend, David!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. They were just so pretty, I tried to capture them from every angle. I like how these are on public lands, and everybody is encouraged to come see them. Safe travels!


    • Thanks, Marty. It is an amazing place. If I recall correctly, riding out bikes from the visitor center to the confluence was 5 miles one way. So, it is a very large area of wide, open spaces. Hope you have a great weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Your photos are awesome! There are fields of sunflowers in South West Ontario near our cottage. A few are for display but most are grown by serious farmers and sold to producers of sunflower oil. Our growing season is later than yours so the sunflowers are not yet in their glory.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Very lovely photos of sunflowers. You are not alone when using the phone camera to take photos these days. 99.9999% of my photos are taken with my phone. It is always in my pocket ready to go and the quality is very good. It amazes me how mature sunflowers always face the same direction (easterly) as illustrated in your photos.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I’m amazed at how they all face the same direction. However, every once in a while there is one that faces the opposite direction. And I think, now how did that happen? I like to take pictures, but really, my passion is writing. My pictures are for memories and my blog.


  7. Oh so pretty! I’m glad you were able to visit and share the beautiful pictures with us! Your captions were perfect!
    I love sunflowers and planted a packet of seeds this year, but so far just spindly plants.

    Liked by 1 person

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