Last week I felt like I needed a little sunny inspiration, so I asked Louise, my sister, if she would like to tag along with me to go see the sunflower fields at Buttonwood Farm in Griswold, Connecticut.
I heard about this farm via a photographer friend who posted her wonderful sunflower photos taken at this site on Facebook. She posted pictures from her visit last year too, and I had promised myself to not miss the opportunity to go see these fields of sunflowers this year.
The night before our planned visit, a television news station said they would be previewing Buttonwood Farms after the next commercial. I asked my husband to quickly change the channel because I didn’t want to see a preview of something I planned to go see live. Savoring the moment in person was my plan, and we left early the very next morning on July 24th to do so.
Buttonwood Farm is located at the junction of Routes 201 and 165. The fields of sunflowers are situationed in a wide open area of 4 acres framed by a few old barns, stone walls, and trees along the backside. Across the street are fields of evergreen trees. It was about an hour’s drive from my home and worth the trip upon the first moment we arrived.
As we approached the fields, we spotted the farm tractor with a train of attached cow carts awaiting the children to arrive that day. At that moment, I felt a tad bit guilty for not inviting my niece along, my sister’s daughter, but I also knew our objective of taking photos of the sunflowers would be more productive without a five year old in tow. “Next year,” I thought, “We’ll take her here.”
Buttonwood Farm holds a Sunflower for Wishes fundraiser every year when their sunflowers are peak for picking. Buckets of cut sunflowers are offered for sale, $5 a batch, to benefit the proceeds. I definitely wanted to check out those cut sunflowers, but first, our objective was to walk through the fields and just have fun taking photos with our cameras.
For this visit, I decided to not use my trusty iPhone, and take out a new digital camera I bought last winter. My sister used her old fashioned camera; the type that still uses film. We started clicking away as we walked past a couple of artists painting the scene beyond on their canvases. It was one of those moment that I felt a tranquilty and excitement at the same time. Yup – from sunflowers, because there were so many!
Louise quickly whisked away, taking photos from different angles and elevations. I have always believed she is an amazing photographer, with a natural talent, although she has debated that with me at times. However, a few years back, a book company contacted her regarding a photo she took in Italy, and it “almost” made it as their front cover. She remembered that photo as we continued to take photos here and there at the farm.
The field of sunflowers faced the rising sun and as we winded through the path, I was facing the back of the sunflowers’ heads. It was kind of a comical feeling, like a bunch of people having their backs turned to me, then at that moment, I thought, “Hmm, I’ll take some shots of the back of the sunflower heads for fun.” We always take the face of the flower usually.
During our walk and shots, birds bopped in and out of the fields, a hummingbird buzzed in-front of my face, and we saw dragonflies too. Soon we were done though taking photos and felt like we had our sun buckets full of yellow cherry inspiration. We decided it was too early for icecream made fresh at the farm, so we checked out the cut sunflowers for sale at $5 a bunch for the fundraiser, and then headed back home. This visit was just the right amount of sunny inspiration I needed.
For your visit next year, remember Buttonwood’s Sunflowers for Wishes fundraiser to support the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Connecticut. This year’s event was held from July 21st through July 29th, and I’m glad we didn’t miss it. They run it for 10 days every year, and the farm is open from March to October also for their hayrides and other events.