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Sunflowers on the Neuse

posted Jul 8, 2017, 5:38 PM by Justin P   [ updated Jul 8, 2017, 5:38 PM ]
Saturday, it was really hot in Raleigh, so I tried to get an early start for a hike on the Capital Area Greenway to see the sunflowers.  I drove to the Auburn-Knightdale Road parking for Neuse River Trail and headed eastbound.  Neuse River Trail starts right along the river but then heads away.  The trail came to Brown Field Road and I went right and followed to the intersection with Old Baucom Road and went left.  The trail followed this road for over half a mile to the sunflowers, which were in peak bloom.

This area is the site of Raleigh's Neuse River Wastewater Treatment Plant.  To dispose of biosolids, the solid waste residual from wastewater treatment, the city applies them to the land.  As they are rich in nitrogen, the sunflowers are planted to prevent run-off into nearby streams and creeks.  The sunflowers are certainly beautiful to look at, but they serve another purpose - the seeds will be harvested to produce biofuels.

I got a few pictures here and then continued on the trail.  It headed back into the woods, which was a relief as it was getting really hot.  The trail crossed Mial Plantation Road, where the parking lot was already full.  I went about a half-mile into Johnston County and then turned back.  It was really packed by the sunflowers on the return hike - I guess everybody knows about this now.