Thursday, June 26, 2014

A Field Of Sunflowers

Years 16 years ago, I bought a book for my girls that was written by a local photo journalist and told the story of a farmer who lived north of Shreveport.  Having grown up just a couple of miles from the fields depicted made it even more special.
While I've never been to the actual Sunflower Festival, I have been able to visit the fields the last couple of summers.  Ron, Valine and I had planned to drive up there last weekend, but other obligations interfered with that plan and it has rained every day since then.  But, since the rain stopped for a while yesterday evening, I suggested to Ron that we drive up there when he got off work.    Though the sun wasn't shining, the flowers were.
They were just beautiful.
In fact, I think they seemed fuller and prettier than ever before.
We especially liked the long rows of blossoms that were opposite the rows of corn.
We set the camera up on timer-mode
and even used the timer on the Camera+ app on my phone.  Wasn't quite ready for this one--but let's face it, we all know I lack coordination anyway!  lol!!
Just as we were cutting some flowers to take home (which is allowed as long as you take them from the backside so you don't ruin the view for other tourists), a man on a four-wheeler pulled up to see what we were doing.  We offered to move our car so he could get by, but, he insisted that we drive to the end of the "road" with him so that we could see the "best fields of them all, that no one ever even sees".  So we did.
And we weren't disappointed!
There, Gordon Boogaerts, the man who started it all, introduced himself to us and told us how he began the fields and why.  As we chatted, it was apparent why he does it----it makes him happy and he loves to share that with others.   I asked if I could take a picture of him and he said "Yes, but not here.  I want to do it up by the road."  He told us to drive down yet another row of flowers where there were flowers on both sides.  So we did.  As we drove, we laughed at the "sunflower thunder" as the huge blossoms hit our windows with thuds, just as he told us they would.
When we returned to the road, we didn't see Gordon at first.  But, we found him at the gate to his home.  I asked him to choose where he wanted his photo taken and after thinking about it for a minute, he told us to climb on his 4-wheeler with him and we took off across his property.  He showed us his favorite spot where you could see both the massive trees and the sunflowers in the distance.
He drove us all over his property, telling us about the sunflowers, agriculture and photography.
His fields have been photographed and painted by many--amateur and professional alike.  And Gordon himself, enjoys photography and asked to use my camera a time or two to take a couple of pictures.  Before taking his photo, I offered a disclaimer since my skills are far compared to the likes of his photography buddies--Neil Johnson and Fletcher Thorne-Thomson.  But he encouraged me to try anyway and to send him a couple to let him judge for himself.

Since he had a huge ink blob on his shirt from a leaking pen, I suggested he hold one of his dogs in front of him.
I think they both kind of liked it, don't you?
It ended up being the best kind of outing---spontaneous, beautiful and filled with all kinds of special surprises!

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Pam Brown said...

Love the sunflowers--they are some of my favorites. Your pictures are beautiful!

Kendra said...

Linda, your sunflower pictures are so beautiful! I love the story about the owner of the fields too.

JJB said...

Such a fun and beautiful adventure!

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