My new job has been occupying a ton of my time and it doesn't appear to be slowing down when looking toward the horizon. I'm enjoying it immensely, but an obvious downside is the time it takes away from other things I enjoy. Catching up with Jodi and the kids when I get home takes priority over everything else, so I have to get my "free" time in whenever I can. Proof of point, it's currently 12:28 AM as I write this and even though I know I have to get up for work I'm in no hurry to get to sleep.
Overall, it's been a pretty slow outdoor photography year. On top of the busy work schedule, most of the summer was absolutely miserable due to the excessive heat. The area landscape is in very poor shape right now from the sun baking it each day with very, very little moisture. It's really hard to get too excited about outdoor photography when it's 105 degrees - every day - and all the greenery isn't very green!
But, even under the worst circumstances something sensational can occur. Driving home from Lawrence one evening I passed a farmer's field full of sunflowers and was awe struck with its beauty. It's a familiar field right off the highway in which the farmer alternates his crop each year (last year was corn). Since I no longer drive that highway each day, I wasn't aware that this year was a Sunflower year. Even so, it was difficult to imagine anything thriving in the weather this summer presented, but this field proved otherwise.
Unfortunately, I didn't have my camera. I briefly considered stopping anyway to use my iPhone to snap some pictures, but figured there was no way an iPhone could do this field any justice. At that moment I made it a point to somehow make some "free" time that would allow me to return in the next couple days avec camera. Two days later, on a superbly gorgeous evening, I returned and spent a little over an hour admiring the beauty through my camera's viewfinder.