If you’re looking for a big dose of happy this weekend, head east along M-72 to see Traverse City’s Field of a Million Sunflowers. Actually, they are out past Acme where, on a former golf course just past Hoxsie’s Farm Market (6620 M-72 E.), more than a million sunflowers are in full, showstopping bloom. The dramatic field of yellow blossoms has become something of a local landmark this month, compelling travellers to pause, pull over and snap a few shots.

This incredible sight is the work of Send Brothers Farm & Feed in Williamsburg (8976 M72 E.), which grows sunflowers for bird seed. We called up Mark Send to get some details:

So, just how many sunflowers are in this field?

Well, we plant about 23,000 plants per acre. In that field, there’s about 50 to 60 acres.

When is peak blooming time for your sunflowers?

It’s a little bit later this year but normally, oh, the best bloom is about August 10th, and it can vary two weeks either way, I guess. So, basically the whole month of August.

Your million-sunflower field has become an unexpected tourist attraction along M-72. Will it be there next year?

There’ll be corn there next year. Corn or else wheat or rye. We try to rotate the sunflowers every other year at least, because the sunflowers can get a disease. Actually, you’ll see the sunflowers on the other side of the road, by the casino, next year.

What do you think about all these people posing with your flowers?

It’s great that people take their pictures there. Actually, the reason I said August 10th for peak blooming time: I got married on August 10th about 12 years ago, and of course we got our pictures taken in the sunflowers.

To see the million-sunflower field, head east on M-72 four miles from the junction of U.S. 31 and M-72. The field is on the former property of High Pointe Golf Club, on the south side of the road.

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