The sunflowers are now in full bloom at Maintz Wildlife Preserve in Cape Girardeau County.
In most years they tend to peak around July 4th, but this year they are slightly behind schedule.
The Conservation Department has helpfully posted maps of this year's planted fields at the parking area kiosks.
Sadly, one of the more photogenic scenes at Maintz is now lost: the classic barn near Parking Lot #4 has been demolished, leaving behind a boring gravel patch.
Nevertheless, the sunflowers do provide endless photo opportunities -- something to appreciate this year more than ever.
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 turn right on County Road 471.
This gravel road will pass two parking areas (#5 and #4) on the left. It's only a short walk from either spot to a sunflower patch.
Another option is to continue to the crossroads with County Road 472. Turn left (west) and drive a short distance to a parking area on the left immediately in front of a small sunflower planting.