DIXON (CBS13) — Sunflower blooms can make the perfect picture and Solano County has become a destination for some photographers trying to capture the right shot.
Solano County farmer Spencer Bei farms 1,000 acres of sunflowers and around this time every year, his fields are busy with photographers and selfie seekers. He says cars are causing problems and each year it gets worse.
“The next thing you know they are in the canal or the ditch and the tow truck comes out,” Bei said.
Bei worries about liability issues when sunflower selfie seekers and photographers go onto his land for full-blown photoshoots and picnics. He is more worried this year with the COVID-19 crisis because nobody is wearing masks or social distancing. Not to mention, they leave behind trash and take what is not theirs.
“Many people feel entitled so they enter the field and do not understand you are not supposed to cut the flower because that’s how we made our money,” he said.
Bei says going into fields this time of year can be hazardous to your health given chemicals used to treat the crop.
“If the public doesn’t realize it and there is no posting and they come into the field that’s been treated, there is not supposed to be anyone there during that reentry interval,” he said.
In addition to the health risks, it’s trespassing to go onto these properties without permission. It’s become such an issue that county authorities have posted road signs warning visitors to stay away.
Despite the no trespassing signs, sunflower lovers say it’s just so tempting, especially when you can see them from the interstate.
“I really like yellow!“ said Sylvia Fortis.
Fortis and her family stopped on their way back from the Bay Area.
She said she was not worried about trespassing signs because “last year we were here too, we just take pictures and we don’t do anything.”
Many CBS13 spoke with did not seem to care about the signs, but Bei does.
“It would be no different than I or my family coming to your house saying ‘I would like to come sit on your front yard or open your side gate and come swim in your pool,” Bei said.
He is hoping people will grow their appreciation for what farmers do.