Tag Archives: Lake Jesup Conservation Area

Lake Jesup Sunflowers?

It’s getting to be that time of year again – when the Marl Bed Flats part of the Lake Jesup Conservation Area along HW 417 north of Lake Jesup usually fills up with wild swamp sunflowers. It’s a late September / early October event and lasts for a couple of weeks. Lynn and I drove by yesterday to scout the area.

Swamp SunflowersSwamp Sunflowers (from 2012)

The good news is that we already saw a few sunflowers blooming. The bad news is that we also saw a lot of standing water, especially near the lake. Flooding or standing water in the flower fields usually means fewer flowers.

There’s more bad news. This morning while putting this post together, I checked the Lake Jesup Wilderness Area website. It says:

“The Lake Jesup Wilderness Area is currently closed due to high water levels …”

It seems we’ll have to wait until next year to photograph these flowers. Sorry about that.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Stay safe! Take care of yourselves, your friends, and your families! And if you can, make some photos – although probably not Lake Jesup sunflower photos this year.

©2020, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved

Looks like a good sunflower season on the way!

I’ve been photographing the swamp sunflowers in the Marlbed Flats / Lake Jesup Conservation area since at least 2006.  Last year, the fields by HW 417 next to Lake Jesup were flooded and the Swamp Sunflower season was disappointing.  But I’ve driven by there a couple of times in the last week or so and it looks like we’ll have a a lot of flowers this year. Blooms are already visible from the road.

Lake Jesup Wildernes Area - Swamp SunflowersLake Jesup Wildernes Area – Swamp Sunflowers.  This is a fisheye photo from 2012.  I think I’ll take that lens out there with me again.

If you’re interested in hiking out there, you can find a lot of info in my posts at this link: https://edrosack.com/category/photo-ops-in-florida/lake-jesup/sunflowers/.  And Jeff Stamer has a good article about the flowers on his blog: http://www.firefallphotography.com/lake-jesup-wildflower-update-october-10-2015/.

It might be a bit early for a visit right now.  I’m guessing they’ll peak around the first or second week of October. If you do go, be careful.  Take water, bug spray, etc. and watch out for snakes and other wild animals.  It is a wilderness area!

You can see more of my swamp sunflower photos in this album on Flickr.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Now – go make some photos!

©2019, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved

Beauty and Bugs in the Soggy Swamp: Sunflowers, 2015

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.

Lake Jesup SunflowersLooking up

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.

Lake Jesup SunflowersMonochrome flowers

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 SunflowersLake 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:

And here are some more Florida Sunflower links you might find interesting:

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).

Marl Bed Flats area on the north shore of Lake Jesup
Marl Bed Flats area on the north shore of Lake Jesup

Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Now – go make some photos!

©2015, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved