Monday, June 23, 2014

Summer & Sunflowers

There is an old poem from one of my favorite childhood books of poetry, still on my shelf by the way, that goes like this:
Summer is coming!  Summer is coming!
How do you think I know?
I found some pussy willows
So I know it must be so.

Since it is definitely summer in the south, let me reword that pretty little poem.
Summer is here!  Summer is here!
How do you think I know?
I saw fields and fields of sunflowers
So I know it must be so.

In north Caddo Parish, the Sunflower Trail & Festival has opened summer for the past 19 years.

What better way to spend a summer Saturday with the one you love than to spend an afternoon among one of the happiest flowers in the world?
From this point northward, there are patches, large and small of sunflowers culminating at the festival in the very, very small village of Gilliam, Louisiana
 This row of sunflowers along the road-way caught our attention and demanded exploring.
As you can see, this long row is planted among fields of corn and young cotton.
 This is just a baby awaiting time and lots of sunshine.
This was the only field of flowers we saw that were on the east side of the road.  Guess which way they were facing.
Along the Sunflower Trail, we found the cutest boys selling watermelons and offering free samples.
 Now folks, this is how one eats watermelon in the south!
 These cuties belong to the family who own this large farm and open it every fall to tours and events including the famous corn maze.  And yes, we got a yellow meat watermelon and plan to indulge later this afternoon.
 The largest sunflower field is found on the Cairo Plantation.
This is the rebuilt family home, set among and under oak and pecan trees.
This frame home is one of the original buildings.

 Another original building is this small house that was used as a commissary at one time.
I think we may need to make another trip a little later for the peaches.
The current owner of the Cairo Plantation, John Sloan has converted 20 acres into sunflowers and has created a trail through the field where one can walk and cut all the sunflowers you can carry home.
Hubby even made his own smiley-face sunflower friend.
The Sunflower Trail parallels the winding Red River and as was common, many of the plantations were built along the rivers in order for easy water transportation and irrigation.
The Cairo Plantation is right near the levee protecting it from the Red River, as seen from this view atop the levee.
Not content to be this close and not get closer, this blogger traipsed in FitFlops not less, through the grass and slopes and occasional cow pattie to get a closeup view of the lazy, muddy Red River.
(Have you noticed the beautiful sky in these pictures?)
This picture is proof I made the trek and back with a smile on my face.
Along the dirt road to the fields, we passed this group of women and children selling lemonade and fresh baked cookies.  After we finished our tour of the fields, we returned to sample their wears.
The lady at far left has lived on this plantation along with her husband and children for 19 years.
This little doll was having a great time helping to decorate the huge chalk board commemorating the Sunflower Trail & Festival.
She wasn't too sure about this woman with a camera to her face calling her name.  But, can you believe the size of the sunflower behind her?
We so enjoyed visiting with these friendly women and the lemonade was delicious and so refreshing after being in the sun and especially after my little impromptu adventure.
We didn't try these but aren't they enticing?
Watermelon Slurpee!
We finally made it to the actual festival as they were closing up.
This may be something you will only find at a festival in Louisiana.
We got there too late for ice cream, but what they did have left will make you want to slap your pappy as we say in the south.
Chocolate Covered Cheesecake!
This was our first time to explore these country roads of North Caddo Parish, but it won't be the last.
And neither will be the last time to enjoy the Sunflower Trail & Festival.
And I am now declared the official Mrs. Senior Sunflower by my Mr. Senior Sunflower.
I do hope your week will bring nothing but sun and flowers as you seek the Son.


  1. Libby, this was just delightful and once we get settled I think we need to start taking some "road trips" like this. Y'all are just too cute!

  2. Love the sunflowers and watermelons and all things Louisiana! Wonderful journey!

  3. How fun, Libby! The sunflowers are gorgeous! I planted some Mammoth sunflower seeds; and the heads are starting to take shape. I should have full blooms in about a month. I call them my "happy" flower.

  4. OH..MY...GOODNESS... I would have loved to have seen all this, but I LOVE that you have shared it. I love sunflowers! Such a happy flower. And all of your pictures were just so good. Did you say an orange meat watermelon? I have never seen one...does it taste similar? Hope you enjoy your week!


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