Thursday, July 5, 2012

Amazing Sunflower Field Near Catawba College in North Carolina

Sunflowers in North Carolina © Katrena
July brings fireworks to Faith, rubber duckies to the Bull Hole near Cooleemee, and the tractor parade to Mocksville in North Carolina, but few people know of the pot of gold that comes to life between these towns in this heated month. Agriculture abounds in Rowan and surrounding counties in the Piedmont of NC. Folks in these parts are used to seeing corn marching across the rolling hills or wheat dancing in the breeze, but this field is different and as rare as a diamond without flaw. Tomatoes are just a slice away and watermelons are approaching their peak when the yellow petals begin to dance around the brown seeds in this most special field.

Bird Sanctuary in Rowan County © Katrena
Many of the most amazing sites in this Southern state lie just a few steps off the beaten path. This beautiful piece of yellow and brown artwork lies just a short distance between Catawba College Rowan Memorial Park. It's near where the old drive-in movie theater used to welcome folks before the mall was built, for those of you old enough to remember. Rabon's Barber Shop, Ellis Park, and the beautiful horses of Saving Grace Farm are just a few miles away. Travelers heading north on highway 601 past Catawba College toward Davie County would be wise to make a left at the caution light, headed toward Salisbury Mall, Jake Alexander Boulevard, and the $2.00 movie theater. Those traveling south from Greasy Corners should forgo the shortcut and drive all the way up to the blinking caution light before turning right.

Agriculture in the Piedmont © Katrena
A field lies to the left just a few yards after that turn toward Jake Alexander Boulevard. You might even see a lone farmer wearing a wide-brimmed hat yielding a hoe. Yes, this is a bird sanctuary created by hand. This huge sunflower field is an act of loving labor and becomes a magnet beckoning flying friends galore by day and lightening bugs by night. The sunflowers are just beginning to lift their heads to the sky's heated orb. It won't be long before the pot of gold lies in full splendor.

Old Fashioned Farming in the South © Katrena
Capturing the beautiful essence of this sunflower field on a photo card is like trying to freeze a child's first steps or a sunset's majestic markings. Just as a sand castle's beauty is soon wiped away into the ocean, so this sunflower field has its short season...but oh the rewards of the short drive off the tried and true trek in July. Salisbury's pot of gold is beginning to bloom!

It's hard to figure out an address for a sunflower field! Take the Jake Alexander Blvd exit - you're about 5-10 minutes from the field, depending on traffic and stoplights.
  • Turn onto Jake Alexander Blvd toward the car dealerships, and you'll eventually see a YMCA and cross over a train track a little ways past that.
  • Keep going straight - you'll see an Advance Auto Parts on the left and then a stoplight where there's a McDonald's, CVS pharmacy, and a gas station at the corners.
  • Keep going straight - I believe the name of the road is Hwy 601 at that point.
  • You'll see a small school on the right and large housing developments on both sides of a road a little ways past that.
  • After the housing developments you'll see some trees.
  • Just past the trees you'll see the field on the right. 
The road ends almost in sight of the field, so if you drive past it, simply turn around and look to your left right before the trees. My family has enjoyed looking at this golden work of art for several years. Kudos to the farmer who has worked his beauty throughout many hot summers.

Nearby (about 5 miles) fun things to do:
Visit my Wildflower Bouquets site map and Travel NC With Kids blog for more family-friendly ideas!

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