I don’t know how long the Sunflowers have staged their fall nature extravaganza along the north side of Lake Jesup near Sanford Florida. I’ve been photographing them since 2006, and my first post about them was in October 2007 – a few months after I began the blog.
I didn’t make it last year and just had to see them this time, so off I went yesterday morning (October 9) to the Marl Bed Flats in the Lake Jesup Conservation area.
The flowers are just about in peak bloom. If you want to hike out there, you’d better make plans quickly. The blooms only last a couple of weeks, so by next weekend, they’ll be fading.
The flowers are beautiful, but the bugs are swarming. I didn’t make any photos of the insects, but I did bring home souvenir mosquito bites. Wear long pants and a long sleeve shirt and use insect spray too. It’s also wet. I didn’t get far from the forest edge – but the water was already several inches deep. Waterproof boots are a great idea.
Lake Jesup Sunflowers at Marl Bed Flats
There are other things to see out there too. It’s a good local birding spot with at least two Bald Eagle nests reported.
When you go, please be careful. Don’t stop on the side of 417 – it’s dangerous! It’s a bit of a hike from the parking area out to the flowers. And it’s still hot – wear a hat and bring water with you.
The Lake Jesup Wilderness area really is wild – I’ve seen bobcats and worried about wild hogs. I haven’t seen any snakes, but I’ll bet they’re around. And Lake Jesup has one of the densest populations of alligators in Florida. So enjoy, but be careful!
You can browse some of my photos of the area in this set on Flickr. I also have more info on the area collected in these older articles:
- Lake Jesup Flowers – 2013
- The flowers are coming! The flowers are coming!
- Wow – it was really crowded over there!
- The Lake Jesup Flowers are back!
- A full bloom riot of flowers
- Lake Jesup Conservation Area Wildflowers
- Storm and Flowers
And here are some more Florida Sunflower links you might find interesting:
Kelly Del Valle’s post about her trip this year(sorry – no longer available)
- Jeff Stamer’s post (with excellent directions) about his trip this year
- And a post on Florida Rambler about Florida Sunflowers in other locations
For reference, here’s a Lightroom map of the area with the locations of photos I’ve made out there. The streets leading in are also shown, so you can see how to get there (click for a larger version).
Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Now – go make some photos!
©2015, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved
6 thoughts on “Beauty and Bugs in the Soggy Swamp: Sunflowers, 2015”
Hi Ed, I was out there yesterday afternoon…probably only missed you by a few hours! I didn’t have that beer I owe you but would have let you have my extra lukewarm bottle of water I was carrying:)
I found a location with good flowers that was much dryer than where we normally photograph from. If you plan to go back out before the flowers fade, I’ve got directions on my latest blog. And thanks for the link to my site on your article! Jeff
Sorry I missed you – it would be great to meet in person.
I actually did go in the direction you talked about in your latest blog – but by that time I was pretty hot and I stopped at the end of the dirt road. I don’t know if I’ll get back out there this year. If so I’ll definitely try walking out to the line of palm trees.
More power to you for getting out there and slogging through the water! Beautiful color contrast with the flowers and blue sky.
Thanks Jim. The flowers put on a superb show.
Thank you for the info! Appreciate it.
You flower images are awesome and so cheerful!
You’re welcome, Dorothy. And thanks for your kind words.