Yesterday evening as sun began to set, I grabbed my camera, hopped into the little Toyota farm truck, and ripped up the road to the nearest sunflower field. Bloom time is short, so time is of the essence. I parked the truck along the edge of a gravel road, and walked out into the field.
Most of the plants are eye level, or over my head, and it would be easy to get lost, except for the fact that all the blooms are facing east, which provides a handy natural compass. It’s amazing how fast the sun sets if you’re trying to make the most of the dwindling light.
I wandered throughout the field looking for just the right angle, the right flower, the right composition. Occasionally I heard a hummingbird buzz overhead, but they never stopped near me.
The birds chirped their last songs of the day, and I could hear a farmer feeding his cattle over the hill.
Finally the sun slipped beneath the horizon.
In the twilight, I zig-zagged through the sunflowers my way back to where I thought the truck was. As I emerged from the field, I saw that I was about 100 feet off, but no matter – it was a short walk up the hill along the road. An alfalfa field nearby had been mowed earlier in the day, and its sweet fragrance filled the air. The silence was absolute, the cool air of evening was descending, and I was reluctant to leave. I drove slowly back to the house, trying to hold on to the serenity of my evening on the prairie.