Finca El Girasol, Guanica, Puerto Rico

Recently a friend from the photo club I belong to, posted some of the most spectacular photos of the sunflower field at Matthiessen State Park in Oglesby, Illinois, that I have ever seen. The field was bursting with these tall, beautiful sunflower blooms, what almost seemed to me like they were growing in unison.  Really amazing photos!

While in Puerto Rico a few weeks back, I also visited a small sunflower farm located just off the Route 2 heading into the municipality of Guanica. You can actually see the farm field from the highway nestled against the mountains in the background, the Plantain Hacienda Pagán (no relation) and a cilantro field.

GPS helped guide us there for the most part and although you could see the farm from the highway, getting there was a little tricky until we  figured out the roads had no street signs.  It wasn’t until we came across a corner house that had a street sign attached to the corner of their fence, then we knew we were on the right track to get to the sunflower farm.  The cost of admission to enter was $2 for parking…that’s it!

The first thing I noticed, as we are pulling up, were a flock of what seemed to me to be white herons hanging out in a field of cilantro. Rows and rows and rows of cilantro!  I had never seen cilantro growing like that before.  I later learned these birds are Cattle Egret, (relative to the heron), that are found in the tropics.  I tried to get a close up of them, but, eventually they were spooked by my presence and they took off.

It was a hot and windy day (of course, it was hot…it’s a tropical island!) and temps had been hovering around 100 degrees that week. I had forgotten my sun hat and I wore my white Converse sneakers, which wasn’t too smart of a move on my part. Needless to say, they were no longer white after I was done walking around in the dirt.

Unfortunately, with the extreme hot weather and not enough rain, the sunflower farm field was not quite as I had imagined, (like my friend, Angel’s, photographs). The flower stalks were small and a lot of the flowers had dried out, but, there were still a few blooms that I was able to photograph with the background of the mountains and ever changing clouds as a rain storm started to move in over the area.  As I walked around the field with my camera, I started to notice a couple of things: 1) It’s not easy photographing sunflowers on a windy day and 2) every sunflower I looked at seemed uniquely different from the next.  Turns out the farm cultivates 7 different types of sunflowers (a little fun fact.)

My time on the sunflower farm was short (because it was hot, hot, hot). I walked back to  the flower stand for some shade (where they were selling sunflowers and other fruits),   from the hot midday sun before heading out.

Despite my imagined expectations, I was happy I got to see it and I really enjoyed the time I spent there.

Next stop…Playita Rosada and an natural swimming pool in the ocean.

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