Summer, Sunshine, Sunflowers and Smiles

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There is something about a sunflower that makes us happy. How can you not smile when you see a towering sunflower with its head lifted up toward the sky, as if to say, “I am strong, I am proud, I am bright and cheerful.”

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I will take any opportunity I get to gaze upon the beloved flower of the summer, so when I heard there was a field of sunflowers close to Murfreesboro, which is only 30 minutes east of Nashville, Tennessee, I had to grab my camera and go.

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This sunflower field is owned by Batey Farms. Batey Farms is located off of I-24 East, just off of the Medical Center Parkway exit at 3250 Wilkinson Pike in Murfreesboro, directly behind the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce.
As soon as you get off the interstate, you will turn left if you are coming from Nashville onto Medical Center Parkway.
As soon as you cross over the interstate, look to your left and your jaw will drop!

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In a field, as far as you can see is a sea of yellow. All you can say is, “Oh my goodness!” But, before you get in an accident because you are too busy gawking at the sunflower field, get in the left lane and turn into the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce parking lot. You can park your car and walk over to the field. There is a road where you can turn left and turn around if you miss this quick turn into the parking lot. Just be careful. The day we went there was a lot of traffic on Medical Center Parkway.

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There were several people there with their kids, grandchildren and families taking pictures with their iPhones. There were photographers shooting engagement photos and summer sessions. But what really caught my eye were the birds, the bees and the butterflies buzzing and flitting around the beautiful sunflowers.

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As I took several steps into the sunflower field I forgot about everyone else around me and felt like I was walking into a field of dreams.
I followed several of the trails that wove in and around the thousands of sunflowers all around me and took in all the beauty.

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I felt like a kid being in this 6 foot tall maze that could have been intimidating had it not been for the view of the hotels and barns in the distance. By the way, most of the pictures I took were at eye level or me having to aim my camera up toward the sky.

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Looking up I saw blue skies. Looking around me I saw these graceful 5-6 foot flowers gently swaying in the breeze- almost in sync.
The song that came to mind was The Rascals “It’s a Beautiful Morning” with the words
“It’s a beautiful mornin’, Ahhh,
I think I’ll go outside a while,
And just smile.
Just take in some clean fresh air, boy!
Ain’t no sense in stayin’ inside
If the weather’s fine and you got the time.
It’s your chance to wake up and plan another brand new day.
Either way, It’s a beautiful mornin.”

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The gorgeous flowers were mesmerizing and I could have stayed there for awhile and just watch nature at its finest. I did eventually walk down to a sign that the Bateys had in the field I wanted to share with you.

8-13-15 Batey's Farm sign for sunflowers

Some of the flowers stretched above my head by a foot. A few were not quite as majestic, but they sure made me smile.

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Once I got home I did go to the Batey Farms website and facebook page and found out they are an 8th generation farm. They grow strawberries which you can pick in the spring, they have a hog farm where you can buy fresh meat, and they have just opened an event facility. If you would like to learn more about Batey Farms and what they have to offer, check out this link at
http://bateyfarms.com/

I thought I would share some interesting facts about sunflowers with you.

  • Do sunflowers really follow the sun?

When the plant is in the bud stage, it tends to track the movement of the sun across the horizon. Once the flower opens into the radiance of yellow petals, it faces east. No one knows why. However, it is likely a defensive response. Facing south or west could result in sun-scalding of seeds during very hot days.

  • What is the height of the tallest sunflower?

A sunflower grown in the Netherlands holds the record for being the tallest sunflower in the world. It measured 25 feet, 5.4 inches. (Source: 2004 Guinness World Records)

  • What size is the largest sunflower head on record?

That honor belongs to a 32 inch (82 cm) sunflower head that grew in British Columbia. (Source: 2004 Guinness World Records)

  • Why is Kansas the Sunflower State?

The sunflower plant is native to North America. The wild sunflower is so common in Kansas, it is actually a serious weed problem. These are the multiple headed plants.

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“If I were a flower.. I would be a sunflower.
To always follow the sun, turn my back to darkness,
Stand proud, tall and straight, even with my head full of seeds.”

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“I want to be like a sunflower so even on the darkest days I will stand tall and find the light.”

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I saw on The Batey’s facebook page where the sunflowers should last another week or two, so head out to Murfreesboro if you are in the middle Tennessee area and get lost in a field of sunflowers and create your own field of dreams!

sunflower info

Until next time…

  • I hope you spend every day, living, learning, laughing and loving life…
    while focused on Nashville and the great state of Tennessee!
    My best to you,
    Terri

    *All photos in my blog, ‘Focused On Nashville’ are images I have taken. I hope you like them!

    Best,                                                                                                                                 Terri

Welcome To Your Weekend!

The song says ‘Everybody’s Working For the Weekend” and I remember those days well. I couldn’t wait until Friday at 5:00. I remember getting in my car, taking my high heels off to rest my feet for a few minutes and then starting the car and heading out to meet friends for whatever we had planned. It really didn’t matter, as long as it was the weekend.

Today I still look forward to the weekend and 5:00 P.M. still has a special place in my heart. But lately I enjoy spending many weekends at home with my husband, my son and 2 westies. We choose a night that is just for the 3 of us and we will watch a movie, (probably a Marvel movie because my son is into Marvel BIG TIME and can quote many lines from every movie)  and we will order pizza and just be together. I will cherish every moment because it won’t be long before my 14 year old makes plans with his friends every weekend. So, here’s to Iron Man and a large, cheese thin crusted pizza.

Whatever your plans are, whoever they are with and wherever you are spending them, enjoy your weekend! Remember, no matter what you are doing, “Spend time with those you love. Because one of these days you will either say I wish I had, or I’m glad I did.”

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A good life is a collection of happy moments.

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Until next time-
I hope you spend every day, living, learning, laughing and loving life…
while focused on Nashville!
My best to you,
Terri

Get Your Peddle On !

I have written about biking the Harpeth River Greenway already, but we have biked two more greenways as well, so I had to share my thoughts on all 3 greenways.
Here is the update to the first blog, ‘A Biker’s Delight’.

IMG_3633 I think I was just as excited for my son’s Spring Break to happen as he was this year. Besides getting to sleep in a little later, eat some food that is not necessarily good for us, and stay up late, I was also looking forward to getting our bikes out of hibernation and hitting the greenways around town. Biking is a a great family event that everyone can enjoy together.  It is great exercise, and for me, brings back memories of biking as a kid. Except now there are beautiful and safe greenways all over Nashville !

We decided to go a different direction each day and see what we would find. Monday we drove west to Percy Warner Park where the Harpeth River Greenway begins. The paved path winds around Ensworth School and the Harpeth River. The majority of the way we were in the shade. Even the times we were in full sunlight it was nice. Maybe because the flowing river tricked us into thinking there was a cool breeze blowing. Or maybe because it was only 66 degrees. Either way, we loved the greenway. We would have gone the whole way but ran out of time. It is about 5.75 miles. Check out the link below for more information.

IMG_3635IMG_3606IMG_3609IMG_3638 Tuesday we decided to head east to Murfreesboro to the Stones River Greenway. Again, the path ran along side the Stones River which made our trip even more enjoyable. There were several areas where you could park your bike and picnic or walk down to the river bank. One area where we spent some time was at the waterfalls. It was very scenic and not really crowded. We even saw people canoeing and fishing. There are several bridges you cross over, lots of beautiful scenes and just enough hills to keep you interested. Most of the greenway we traveled was shaded. It is about 6 miles. Check out the link below for more information.

Wednesday we decided to head to downtown and turn right which would land us at Shelby Bottoms Greenway and Nature Center. I will have to say I was a little skeptical because the park is not in the best area of town. You have to go through an industrial area. I kept thinking there was no way I would want to ride bikes where we were heading. But once we pulled in the entrance it felt totally different. There was a great nature center, tons of cars, people, activities going on, a play area for small children and clean restrooms! The greenway we were on ran alongside the Cumberland River. The view of the Cumberland River is not the best although there are certain areas where you can pull over and see the river through the trees. It might be a tad more difficult to see the river once the trees are full of leaves this summer but is still a nice view.  I will have to say we did not go all the way to Two Rivers Park, so there might be better views from that end of town. This greenway goes all the way to Two Rivers Park but we stopped about 3/4 of the way and came back. I enjoyed the experience all in all. I noticed the nature center has lots of activities for families and had a full calendar for Spring. One of my favorite moments was seeing a train come around the corner and above us on the trestle about 40 feet high. We waved and were as giddy as 8 year olds when he waved and blew the whistle! This trail is around 5 miles. (This does not count the complete greenway to Two Rivers.) Check out more information about this greenway on the link below.

I would highly recommend all 3 greenways because you will get 3 different experiences but will walk away (or should I say ‘bike’ away) with a smile on your face, a heart that is happy from the exercise, and a greater love for Nashville.

Until next time-
I hope you spend every day, living, learning, laughing and loving life…
while focused on Nashville!
My best to you,
Terri

Hello world!

Hi! My name is Terri and I am addicted to photography and to my hometown of Nashville, Tennessee. So I thought I would combine the two and share through photographs what is so cool about Nashville and the great state of Tennessee. That is why I chose to call my blog, “Focused On Nashville”.

I was born and raised in Nashville, met my husband of 23 years here in Nashville, and now have a 14 year old I am raising here as well. I have seen many changes throughout the years…some good, some bad. But I feel Nashville still has the hometown, small city feel and I owe a lot of it to the people who live here. Nashvillians ROCK!  I also credit those who are willing to fight to keep things as they have been for years, and fighting the tear down of so many historic buildings and landmarks. The beautiful history of Nashville is what drew so many here to begin with. Yes, we are one of the fastest growing cities in America, but we still offer our down home, southern charm.

I will highlight our fabulous city (and great state) with my photographs. When I can, I will give any history, information, tidbits or interesting facts about the subject I am photographing. I hope you enjoy my posts. I look forward to my adventure and hope you will come along for the ride!

Until next time-
I hope you spend every day, living, learning, laughing and loving life…
while focused on Nashville!
My best to you,
Terri… Keeping my focus on Nashville,
They say all roads lead to Rome. Here in Nashville, all sidewalks lead to the Batman Building!

They say all roads lead to Rome. Here in Nashville, all sidewalks lead to the Batman Building!

Terri