Grinter’s Sunflower Farm

Tis the season for sunflowers to bloom in Kansas. In past years we’ve simply driven a few miles from our home to the nearest sunflower field to take pictures of our state flower, but this year, there are no fields around. Soybeans are worth more than sunflowers so everyone planted those instead this year.

We heard of a field down by Lawrence, Grinter’s Sunflower Farm, and so last Thursday, Harland drove down there to take a look. He said the flowers were in their prime, so Friday night, we camped a few miles down the road from the field. We stayed at a lovely campground surrounded by woods and we were the only ones there that night so we settled down for what we thought would be a peaceful night’s sleep.

Suddenly a sound shattered the stillness:


“What was that?!“, we asked each other.

It was a tree frog singing from the top of a nearby tree. And not just any ordinary tree frog, but one with leather lungs capable of croaking at a decibel level comparable to cannon-fire.


Sometimes he would stop for a few seconds, and we would sigh in relief. But our respite was short-lived as he would start all over again… hour after hour after hour.

Our alarm went off at 5:30am. Time to get up. We dressed in the darkness, and stumbled to the truck for the short drive to the sunflower field. Sunflowers look their best in the wee hours of the morning.

Since the 1970s, the Grinters have planted sunflowers on their farm between Tonganoxie and Lawrence. They encourage visitors to stop and take pictures and even pick a few flowers to take home for a suggested fee of $1 per flower. Visitors can slip their dollars into a can at the edge of the field.

Harland and I went our separate ways into the field to take pics.

This year I used my 10-22 wide angle lens:

If you are interested in visiting the Grinter sunflower field, here is the address:

14754  243rd St., Lawrence, KS 

And here is the Grinter’s blog where they update regularly on the status of their sunflower field. Click HERE. 

Oh, I almost forgot…

Here’s what we look like after trying to sleep all night accompanied by a tree frog chorus:

Harland is a morning person, so he didn’t look too bad:

But I’m not a morning person, and four hours sleep is just not enough:

 Note to self: Bring earplugs next time. 

To see more of my sunflower pictures from years’ past, go to my sunflower page.



Cattle, corn, wheat, beans, mud, snow, ice, and drought. Plenty of fresh air and quiet. Our life is sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes joyous, but never boring.

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28 Responses

  1. Dede says:

    Thanks for sharing the sunflowers! They always look so cheerful to me. Looks like they are the only thing loving this weather…corn is fried and beans aren’t setting pods.

  2. Glenda says:

    Small frogs with deafening decibels are one reason I often don’t sleep well when camping at the pond! I need to try earplugs as well.
    It would’ve been fun to have a recording of those first minutes when you and Harland were asking each other what that noise was.Lol!

  3. Doe in Mi says:

    As always your sunflowers are beautimous. Ya it was noisey here last nite also. Only it was insects doing the hollering. LOL Like grasshoppers and katydids. I love tree frogs I had one as a pet when I was in grade school. I put him in the rosebush and he’d come out to see me when I went up and called him. Since then had several incounters w/them.

  4. Nell says:

    What beautiful sunflower pictures…..even with the hot temps and no rain the sunflowers thrive! Thanks for sharing.

  5. Tina says:

    Nice pics as always.I love your morning face but I’ll bet it is better than mine.Do you ever plant sunflowers in your yard? Are tree frogs really in trees? Humor me please I don’t know, I live out West in the Desert.

    • Suzanne says:

      Thanks Tina!
      I’ve never planted sunflowers in the yard. Thought about it but never have.
      As for treefrogs, yes, they hang out in trees. They have little suction cup-like toes to grip the branches. And they are cute, but not that one. He was a noisebox!

  6. Alica says:

    These pictures are beautiful, Suzanne! I love sunflowers…they’re so cheery! And you’ve got a way with choosing and taking great shots!

  7. Love the pix. And I like to hear the tree frogs Most of the time. They can be loud at times. As hot and dry as we’ve had it here, I’d love to be hearing them now even if it did keep me awake. Thanks for sharing your pix. – Karen

  8. Frogs mean water right? That’s good.
    Beautiful sunflowers. Too cute the photos of you both at the end.

  9. Carol says:

    WOW, that’s a lot of yellow! My first time seeing so many sunflowers in one place! Your pictures are beautiful…I am concerned about frogs in trees. I thought they lived by water, on the ground! Now I will try to avoid walking under any trees. Thanks for the information.

  10. Karen says:

    Oh, what a happy sight! Funny story about your tree frog. We have them here in Washington State, too. Cute photos of your morning face! xx

  11. Jeannelle says:

    The wide-angle shot of the sunflower rows is beautiful! Four hours of sleep wouldn’t be enough for me, either!

  12. Glyndalyn says:

    Great photographs. Like the wide angle.

  13. Rochelle says:

    Wonderful pics. Makes me miss living in Kansas . . . . .

  14. Louise S says:

    Boy, you guys are dedicated. Great pic of the sunflower and butterfly. I didn’t know sunflowers look best in the early morning — I figured their prime would be with the sun beating down. Thanks for the great pics!

    • Suzanne says:

      Sunflowers all face east, so that’s why if you want pics of their faces, morning is best.
      Thanks Louise

      • Louise S says:

        I learned that after checking out the Grinter blog, lol. Never occurred to me, but that’s a very good reason! Thanks.

  15. Stephanie says:

    Your wide angle lens is well used. I love that shot 😀

  16. Suzanne, I enjoy your blog. 🙂

  17. Brian Lingle says:

    Suzanne, I enjoyed your photos and story about your sunflower expedition. The photos of you and Harland gave it a really nice personal touch.

  18. BJ Scully says:

    Will there be a sunflower field this fall. My daughter is getting married next May and sunflowers are her choice for her foral designs in the wedding. We were really hoping to get some sunflower pictures for her save the date cards and engagement pictures. She was born in Kansas! (Manhattan, Ks to be exact)

  19. Frances Prather says:

    I was visiting my son and his family in Overland Park, KS last week, and we visited your farm . I am from Mississippi , and have never seen sunflowers like that ! They were breath-takingly beautiful ! But, I have a question. Do you harvest them to eat ?

  1. September 3, 2015

    […] some gorgeous pictures of Grinter’s crop, check out this blog post from Window on the Prairie. […]

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