This is a great week to visit McKee-Beshers Wildlife Management Area to see the fields of sunflowers. Helianthus annuus, the common sunflower is one of 70 Helianthus species, 67 of which are native to North America. Sunflowers are grown for oil and seeds as well as its sunny yellow flowers. There are three large fields of sunflowers at McKee-Beshers and all are in full bloom now. Park to the side of River Road just before Hunting Quarter Road to walk to the main field which is not visible from the road. There's a wood sign at the entrance. Photos above were taken on July 8, 2018.
If you visit plant to take the side roads nearby (Hunting Quarter Road and Sycamore Landing) to explore the wetlands which provide great birding and a variety of native water plants including hardy hibiscus which are beginning to bloom. There are miles of trails through forests, fields and wetlands as well as the C&O canal. Nearby is an interesting Buddhist temple with two large stupas. They welcome visitors and it's worth stopping by, about a mile north of the main parking area for McKee-Beshers.
For lots of other great ideas of places to visit nearby, select "Our Nature" from the home page and you'll find posts on trails and other natural areas to visit.
Local photographer Terri Pitts shares her sunflower shots, including one with goldfinches and her photos from the nearby wetlands. Click below to see slideshow.