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

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4 Comments

  1. Mel October 11, 2016 at 10:21 pm #

    I’m going to try and check it out this weekend. I didn’t realize how close this is to my house. I looked at the one in Mims online and their sunflowers were wiped out by the hurricane. I’m afraid that the same will have happened to the ones here or it will be too wet to get to.

    • Jeff Stamer October 12, 2016 at 7:01 am #

      Hi Mel, I just got an email from someone who went out to the Jesup fields this week. The flowers are still there, but you have to walk thru a LOT of water to get to them. I hope the water drains off before the blooms are gone!

  2. Keith J. Sundwall October 4, 2016 at 7:02 pm #

    Jeff, I love your photography. I saw your blog about the Swamp Sunflowers in the Lake Jesup Conservation area a few month ago and I had to go see them. I live in inter Springs so I did not have to go far of course. Your map was perfect and more than helpful. I headed out with my Nikon D3000 and a three step ladder which came in quite handy. I missed you being there by just 6 days. When I was here on the 3rd of October they were in full glorious bloom. One of the most spectacular natural sights I have ever seen. Thanks for the blog !

    Keith

    • Jeff Stamer October 8, 2016 at 4:07 pm #

      Hi Keith, Glad you got a chance to see the sunflowers. Quite the sight…and right here in Central Florida!

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