Sunflower Status – Oct 2, 2021

Lynn drove me over the Lake Jesup bridge yesterday so I could scout the Swamp Sunflower fields to the east of HW 417 in the Marl Bed Flats area north of the lake. It’s not very safe to park on the side of 417 – this was the best photo I got with my iPhone from the passenger seat of our moving car:

Lake Jesup Swamp Sunflower Field. iPhone photo, made on 10/3/2021

You can see that the annual Swamp Sunflower bloom has started here in Central Florida and it looks like it’ll be a good year for the flowers. These are about 2-3 feet tall – they’ll reach up to 6 feet or more later, so I’m guessing they might peak in the next week or two.

Here’s a better photo of one from 2013:

Water drops and insects on a Swamp Sunflower Water drops and insects on a Swamp Sunflower. October 2, 2013

It’s been a little wet this summer, and they’ve closed this area in the past due to high water. So I searched on-line for any info on whether it’s open. Marl Bed Flats is part of the Lake Jesup Conservation area and I couldn’t find any mention of closures on their web page. I did see this on the Lake Jesup Wilderness area page (which is a short distance away from Marl Bed Flats on the west side of 417):

“The Lake Jesup Wilderness Area is currently closed due to wet season conditions.”

I’ve enjoyed photographing these flowers since 2006, but I probably can’t visit this year. Since I can’t give you a better report, you’ll have to venture out there on your own. If you do go or find a better status, please leave a comment here so others will see the info.

I’ll leave you with one more close up. I like the water drop in this image from 2010:

Water drop on a Swamp Sunflower Water drop on a Swamp Sunflower. October 10,2010

If you’re interested, I have more photos from this lovely field of wildflowers in this album:

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Please take care of yourselves and each other. And if you can – and make some photos!

©2021, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved

8 thoughts on “Sunflower Status – Oct 2, 2021

  1. Incredible timing! I actually had a visit to Marl Bed Flats on my calendar for Tuesday! Sadly, I won’t be able to make it.

    I, too, scoured the ‘net for info but came up empty. Until this morning! Thank you, Ed, for your unselfish diligence!

    As soon as I make it over there, I’ll report back, Sir!

    Thank you so much for turning me on to this outstanding spot a couple of years ago.

    1. You’re very welcome, Wally.

      Wish I could be more helpful, but I probably can’t get out to the trails this year for an in person / definitive scouting report.

  2. UPDATE, 10/12/2021.

    Made it out there just at sunrise and, once again, was completely enthralled! The only other time I’ve been there was in 2019 and it seemed the current blooming was comparable to that last trip. Many “spent” blooms, but overall a sea of gold was all mine to enjoy!

    Typically muddy on the flats with some standing water but not bad.

    Again, Ed, thank you so much for turning me on to this very special place!

    1. Thanks for your kind words! Yes I did stop by your blog and I appreciate you mentioning me

      I’ll put a pointer in to your sunflower writeup in my next blog post this weekend.

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