A Field of Canola

IMG_1659
A field of canola before the incoming storm.

As I was driving to check my camera traps a couple of weeks ago at Comanche Springs Astronomy Campus, a field of bright yellow appeared on the horizon in Floyd County, Texas.

This sea of chest high plants was covered in tiny, bright, fluorescent yellow flowers. A slight sweet smell drifted with the occasional winds from the field. Never seeing this “yellow” crop before I immediately texted a photo to my friend, Willa Finley, who is the co-author of Lone Star Wildflowers. Her response was quick with “canola,” a crop she had just learned about growing in regions of Texas a few days earlier. Canola oil will be produced from this field of yellow after the flowers have died back leaving only the pods.

Canola growing in this region of Texas that’s always been about all cotton or sorghum is new for farmers who are seeking alternative crops to grow. The plant belongs to the family of mustard, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower. Pods are produced from which seeds are harvested and crushed to create canola oil and meal. It’s been researched as having the least saturated fat and most omega-3 fat of all cooking oils, making it one of the healthiest edible oils in the world.

Another interesting aspect with farmers growing canola in this region – they are benefitting bees because the small yellow flowers are rich in nectar.

Note: if you see a field of canola and want to photograph it obey the basic, common sense rules: only photograph from the field edges, don’t walk into the plants, don’t pick the flowers, and don’t pick the pods. These planted acres are a farmer’s bread and butter and any decrease in yields means a decrease in revenues.

Photograph – © Christena Stephens Photography

© Christena Stephens, 2014 – 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided full and clear credit is given to Christena Stephens with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s