The Lake Jesup sunflowers are blooming this year! On the shores of Lake Jesup, visible from highway 417, the grassy fields come alive with bright yellow blooms around October 1. I first photographed the beautiful fields of flowers back in 2013. In recent years, heavy summer rains have flooded the fields and kept the flowers from blooming. So I was super excited to see 2019 reports of flowers on Central Florida Photo Ops and Firefall Photography.
The last time I hiked out there, I remember thinking “I should have brought a ladder!” Well, this year I did better: I brought a tall monopod and a remote shutter release to let me get over the tall bushes of flowers. It was worth the effort. :)
I think the fields are a little past peak bloom, and/or not as prolific as my previous visit. It was still fun to slosh around in the marshy fields and find creative ways to photograph the scenes. My favorite photo turned out to be an iPhone snapshot:
As I walked through the flowers, I heard the distant calls of Sandhill Cranes. I quickly switched into video mode and watched in awe as a large flock flew over my head. It’s not often that I see that many cranes together. Rich said he counted around 35. They flew over my head and settled among the flowers.
The sun started to set, and Rich and I headed back to the car. His favorite Indian food was waiting for us. The return walk to the car took us on a trail through a gorgeous oak canopy. I couldn’t resist stopping to take a few more photos. It was a peaceful end to a fun afternoon.
If you want to visit the sunflowers yourself, don’t delay! Jeff put some great maps and tips on his blog. Check it out!
Want to learn more about nature photography at Lake Jesup?
Check out my Lake Jesup page with more information about the location, map, website, photography tips, etc. It is archived by date so you can see my images from previous visits. Maybe you'll be inspired for your own trip!
Planning a trip to Florida? Don't miss my Central Florida Bird Photography Locations reference guide!