Last August, I wrote about the field of sunflowers that was in bloom at Maintz Wildlife Refuge southwest of Oak Ridge.
The sunflowers are back this year, with several acres planted by the Conservation Department. However, when I visited over the weekend, it appeared that the flowers had already peaked.
It's still an impressive display of yellow, but the unusually hot, dry weather of June has taken its toll.
This year, no hiking is required to view one of the sunflower patches. From Parking Lot #4 on County Road 471, walk a short distance up the gated lane, turn right, and you'll see the sunflowers behind the vintage barn. With a John Deere tractor in front, it's the perfect farm scene.
From Cape Girardeau, take Highway 72 through Jackson toward Millersville. Just before reaching Millersville, turn right on Route B. After two miles, turn left on Route BB near the water tower. Go one mile and look for County Road 471 on the right. Follow CR 471, a gravel road, north for 1.3 miles and look for the second parking area on the left. This lot is signed as Parking Lot #4.