Same Old Lunchtime Route – Suddenly Transported to Kansas or Maybe South Dakota

I’ve been working from home for 20+ years and can often sneak in early lunchtime rides nearby – like the Lumpy Deer route I’ve posted here. Yesterday, as if by magic, a big field of sunflowers appeared twisting their faces to the sun’s radiation.

I don’t know if Lisbon, Portugal is known for sunflowers but Fulton, MD never was. In the US, Kansas is known as “The Sunflower State” but I think South Dakota actually produces the most sunflowers. I’m sure anyone regularly cycling out there isn’t impressed, but in exurban Maryland, cycling by a few acres of sunflowers is a rare joy.

This field used to be a hay field for a small cattle dairy operation that was part of a free-range turkey raising operation that has been there for decades. That overall operation was sold, the new owners appear to be getting in agri-tainment – the new “Sunflowers of Lisbon” sign came up and there were hay rides and sunflower picking for children going on.

They still had a sign “Come back in November for our famous turkeys.” Soon I will be cycling by hundreds of white fluff balls on the turkey side of the operation that will get bigger each time I pass and then by Thanksgiving Thursday in November all magically disappear…

Avid cyclist, sometimes touring cyclist. My main road bike is a Trek Domane SL6, my touring/unpaved riding bike is now a Jamis Renegade. I'm located in Maryland, about midway between Baltimore and Washington DC.

4 response to "Same Old Lunchtime Route – Suddenly Transported to Kansas or Maybe South Dakota"

  1. By: gregblood Posted: August 21, 2020

    There are few things that put a smile on my face more quickly than a big field of sunflowers. The corn and soybean fields of Minnesota just can’t compare.

  2. By: Laura Posted: August 21, 2020

    I remember how beautiful the fields of sunflowers were on our way to the border after we left Vienna. So cool to be biking near them. I wouldn’t have thought of Maryland as a place to find them, so thanks for sharing.

  3. By: Rich-Illinois Posted: August 21, 2020

    Nice photo! Being raised for bird seed/feed?
    Guess not.
    At $2.00 a flower, they must have a million dollars there!

    • By: jpescatore Posted: August 26, 2020

      I think the agri-entertainment use is going to continue as the new property owners work through the permit process to have the land developed.

      We used to live in a house in a development that was built in the early 1960s on what had been a big apple orchard. I was walking our dog once by one of the pre-development houses and an older guy came out and we chatted. He said “I remember being a little kid and seeing my mother cry when they bulldozed those apple trees to build your houses.”

      So, I always find it hard to complain about new development – too easy to turn into a “Not In My Back Yard-er” when you already have a back yard and other people are trying to buy their first homes with a back yard!

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