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Canola fields forever – or at least a season

Eye-catching color beckons drivers 'like a beacon' from Highway 26 east
by: Courtesy photo Motorists as far east as Sylvan hill near Portland caught glimpses this spring of a canola field near Banks, owned by Rita and Bernard VanDomelen. Attracted by its brilliant color, members of a wedding party stopped by to take photos in the field one day.

A brilliant yellow field of canola, located just west of the Sunset Highway on Banks Road, became a pseudo tourist trap this spring as the field turned a deep shimmering goldenrod shade.

Gary VanDomelen, whose parents, Bernard and Rita, own the property on which the field sits, said this is the first year in recent memory when the field, easily visible from the highway, has been home to canola.

But the farmer who leases the land, Mike Vandehey, grows canola on about 100 acres throughout the valley.

The field's eye-catching color and easy-to-spot location drew visitors who stopped by to take photos, including a wedding party which popped in for an impromptu photo shoot.

'There were places coming down Sylvan hill where you could see it down the highway,' said VanDomelen. 'It was just like a beacon up there on the top of the hill.'