Aaron Sumner


Living in the Sunflower State

Roadside sunflowers

If you live in Lawrence, and seldom leave town save for an occasional trip to Kansas City or Topeka via I-70 or K-10, you may sometimes forget why our state’s nickname is the Sunflower State. Do yourself a favor in the next few days and head north up US-59/24 (that’s over the bridge; keep driving north past the Turnpike exchange). You can get to Topeka that way if you’d like, but you don’t really have to go that far—even by turning around at Midland Junction you can get a sense of the scenery the rest of northeast Kansas gets to see.

Flowers like the ones above grow wild along my street now. Below is a photo of my nearest “neighbor”—a working farm with no actual residents.

My neighbors

Next-closest are the cattle and occasional horse I hear during the day, and the coyotes I hear at night.

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