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.
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.
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?