Tag Archives: Lake Jesup

There won’t be a 2018 Lake Jesup Wildflower Season

The rainfall the past few months has resulted in quite a bit of flooding in Central Florida…but not as bad as we experienced in 2017 in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.  Last year, the flooding wiped out the annual bloom of sunflowers in the low-lying fields on the north shore of Lake Jesup, but I was hopeful that we wouldn’t get skunked two years in a row.

I drove out there today to check it out.  Unfortunately, the fields are totally flooded and almost no sunflowers were visible.  Normally, by this time of the year (first week of October) you would see vast fields of immature sunflowers and pockets of blooms.   The lack of even immature plants out there today pretty well wipes out my hopes for 2018. 

I’m afraid this year will be a bust and we are going to just have to wait until 2019 to see this spectacle again.

 

Jeff

Posted in Central Florida Photo Locations, Wildflowers Also tagged , , |

2017 Lake Jesup Wildflower Season: RIP

Hurricane Irma certainly brought her share of misery to my Florida.  My family fared well…6 days without power isn’t that much of a hardship compared to some of the devastation I’ve seen on TV.

Once I got power back, one of the first things I did was take a look at my website to see what I may have missed.  I saw that a number of folks had sent messages to me about Irma.  It make me chuckle when I read them and found they weren’t wishes for my family’s safety, my fellow photographers were asking me if all the rain from Irma would have an impact on the annual Lake Jesup wildflower bloom!   Well, photographers do have their priorities:)

Anyway, I drove out to the fields yesterday to see how things were looking.  As I feared, they are completely flooded with only a handful of flowers visible above the water.  The waters will certainly recede, but not quickly.  In past years, the peak of the bloom is around the first of Oct. so it might be a bit early to write-off all hope for 2017 but I’m not optimistic.

I’ll make another scouting trip in another 10 days and let you know what I find!
Jeff

2017 Lake Jesup Wildflower Update

We probably won’t be treated to scenes like this in 2017 This is what I fear we won’t be seeing this year…a photo of the Jesup bloom last year

 

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The Sunflowers are Blooming! Lake Jesup Update: Sept. 27, 2016

For those of you waiting for the annual Lake Jesup sunflower bloom, the time is here!

Lake Jesup Sunflower Field Bloom Update: Sept. 27, 2016

Florida the Beautiful

I made my first trip out to Jesup’s Marl Bed flats today and the flowers were there in abundance.  Not full peak…let’s call it about 30-40% of max bloom.  Lots of the flower buds haven’t opened yet and I would think that another 7-10 days or so will be the peak.

The good news this year is that the fields are pretty dry.  Water levels are the lowest I’ve seen in the past five years.  Although you can still get your feet wet, it’s much better than years past.

The bad news is that you are going to have to walk a bit further than in 2015 to reach the best fields.  Plus the fields are not as expansive as last year.  Perhaps that is largely because the bloom isn’t at its peak…time will tell.

Lake Jesup Sunflower Field Bloom Update: Sept. 27, 2016

Not quite as lush as some years but still impressive!

 

If you are planning to visit the fields and haven’t done so before, follow this link to my post that has full directions as well as tips about what you will want to bring with you.

If this isn’t your first time, be aware that the best fields are in different locations than in 2015.  The map below will help steer you in the right direction.  Usually, the sunflower fields start right where the oak hammock ends.  This year you have bear to the right (north) once you reach the fields or walk east well out into the flats (about ten minutes) before you hit the best areas.

Lake Jesup Sunflower Field Bloom Update: Sept. 27, 2016

2016 Map for Lake Jesup Sunflower Fields

The fields were deserted today…didn’t see another soul.  After all these years, I still find it amazing that I can be sitting in bumper to bumper traffic at 8:00 and thirty minutes later be standing in the middle of a silent field with sunflowers stretching to the horizon.

Although homo sapiens were not to be seen, I did run across an inquisitive raccoon as well as the usual cows.lake-jesup-wildflowers-95lake-jesup-wildflowers-122

Saw hundreds of birds of all types.  The eagles are out again this year but never got close enough for a good shot.

Mosquitos were much less active this year.  I saw a airboat spraying along the edge of Lake Jesup, maybe the county is actively trying to control the bugs this year because of the Zika scare…whatever the reason, I didn’t need nearly as much bug spray this year!

Hope you get a chance to get out to the fields this year.  I’d say the next two weekends are going to be as good as it gets!

Jefflake-jesup-wildflowers-62-2

Posted in Central Florida Photo Locations, Wildflowers Also tagged , |

“La Florida”: Time-Lapse of Lake Jesup Sunflowers

I’ve enjoyed the blooming sunflower fields near Lake Jesup every fall for a number of years.  Although its always glorious, I found that it was getting challenging to photograph the spectacle in new and exciting ways.  So this year, I set a new goal:  Capture the fields in a way that hasn’t been done before and help the viewer see and feel the experience of standing in a field of yellow flowers that stretch to the horizon.

My solution was to make a time-lapse.  Here is the result:

My website can’t handle the size of the video in high-resolution, so I apologize that this version isn’t HD.  However, to see the video in High-Resolution, click on this link and it will take you a HD version I put on You Tube.

To make this video, I used two cameras and recorded over 12 hours of images on two different days.  I took about 10 shots per minute, so I ended up with over 7,000 photos.  The amazing thing is that those 7,000 pictures amount to less than 3 1/2 minutes of video!

Twelve hours might sound like a lot of time to spend sitting in wildflower fields…and to be honest, I wasn’t sure if I’d have the patience…but it really wasn’t all that bad.  I just set up the cameras, put my camping stool down in a shady spot, lathered on the mosquito spray and pulled out my latest Jack Reacher novel.  Actually, not a bad way to enjoy a beautiful Florida afternoon.

I’m on the steep side of the learning curve when it comes to figuring out how to edit videos.  As a result, I won’t allow myself to figure out how many total hours I spent editing this 2 minute “film.”   It was certainly a learning experience but I think the result achieves my goal to help the viewer “see” the blooming fields in a new and more personal way.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed it as well.
Jeff

 

 

“La Florida”:  Time-Lapse of Lake Jesup Sunflowers

“La Florida”:  Time-Lapse of Lake Jesup Sunflowers

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Lake Jesup Wildflower Update: Oct. 2, 2015

Note:  There is a more recent update published on Oct. 10th, click here to see it.

If you happen to live within driving distance of Central Florida, you may have been thinking of photographing the annual wild sunflower fields that bloom this time of year in the Lake Jesup area.  If so, I wanted to let you know that now is the time.

Lake Jesup Wildflower Fields

I hiked out to the fields yesterday and they are in full bloom.  Compared to previous years, the flats are very wet and you won’t be able to get out very far into them, but you can still shoot from the edges and get some wonderful images .  If you do try to venture into the flats, you will need hip waders and lots of mosquito spray!  I just walked along the area where the oak/palm trees stop and the flats begin.  That area has some trails and is pretty dry but I was glad I had waterproof boots.

Lake Jesup Wildflower Fields

Lake Jesup Wildflower Fields

If you haven’t been out to the fields before, check out my previous post for directions and tips.

Have fun!
Jeff

PS:  Don’t forget that these sunflowers are TALL…like 6′ tall, which means you need to get your camera elevated if you want to be able to see the horizon.  So unless you are a pro basketball player or want to bring a ladder, you should bring a tripod with a center column so you can extend your camera a bit above the flowers.

PSS:  Bring your macro lens for close-ups and don’t forget that there are lots of Bald Eagles and other birds, so you might want to have a zoom with you as well.

 

 

Posted in Central Florida Photo Locations, Wildflowers Also tagged , |