Sunflowers

-How to Harvest Sunflowers-

For a while now, finding a sunflower field has been on my bucket list.  I know where to find them back home, but had no clue where to start in the Upstate.  A little bit of googling led me to one not too far away, so I planned an outing there.

There’s one really big thing to know about Sunflowers if you’ve never been around a field of them – pollinators. These are those pesky little critters that have much mighty sting .  They will share so long as you don’t bug them too much, but be very mindful of them.   

These flowers aren’t really ready to harvest quite yet, but it didn’t matter, we had great fun anyway.  The best part was just getting away and doing something new.

The field of sunflowers swayed in the breeze as we entered the fields and I thought to myself that you could almost tell time from them (around noon if you’re interested).

I’m also very sure that I inwardly quote the William Blake poem, “Ah! Sun-flower” that my 8th/9th grade English teacher often quoted, “Seeking after that sweet golden clime.”  Whenever she’d quote it, I’d recall my grandmother telling me that Sunflowers faced the sun until they were fully grown.  In answer to my question of why they did that, she say “because they are a bit narcissistic if you ask me.”  Isn’t it funny how a single flower can bring back so many memories?

After our outing at the Sunflower field, we decided to head up to the Saluda, NC.  It’s one of our favorite spots.  Around these parts, Saluda is known as the spot where the foothills end and the Blue Ridge Mountains begin.  From time to time, The Dane and I make a trip over there to eat at The Purple Onion where much of what they serve is locally grown.  In addition, on Thursday and Saturday nights, they have a live band.  It’s fairly casual and there are always interesting people to meet.

Probably the most well-known thing about Saluda, NC is the Saluda grade.  At 606 feet in elevation in less than three miles, it is the steepest standard-gauge mainline railway grade in the United States.  Just to put it in perspective, most grades average 4.24% in a 2.6 mile incline.  Probably for the best, this part of the rail line isn’t used anymore, though I do hear from time to time that some company or other plans to start a short-line on the grade.  So far, it hasn’t happened.

If you’ve never been to Saluda, it’s well worth a visit, especially if you are the outdoorsy type.  There’s the gorge zip-line (not for the faint of heart), white water rapids and wilderness cove.  If you like to hike, there are beautiful waterfalls nearby.  The hike to Pearson Falls is particularly pretty.

If you need a place to stay, there are gorgeous cabin spots and plenty of B&B’s.  If you’re in need of a little more action, Asheville is less than an hour away.

Since The Dane and I were only out for a day-trip, we only visit just the specific places that we liked most (that means the ice cream shop) and the park on the hill overlooking the town.

Now I’m curious, what sort of things are on your bucket list?

~PJ

Shirt – Forever 21; Shorts – Torrid; Hat – Tula; shoes – Easy Street (similar here); Flip Flops – ADIDAS (I called these flip-flops my platypus shoes because they look like a platypus beak to me.  They are comfortable though, so I carry them with me just about everywhere so I can change footwear if something starts to hurt or pinch)

 

 

 

 

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