Celebrating the Red, White, and Blue


No, this isn’t the traditional red, white, and blue of bunting and flags, but when I found this trio blooming in the Rockport City Cemetery on March 23, there was no question they would be a perfect floral tribute for our Fourth of July celebrations.

The bluebonnet, of course, is Texas’s state flower; the white bluebonnet is a natural variant, and the wine cups add just the right, rosy touch. These flowers faded long ago, but what we celebrate today — freedom, independence, and a wonderful if complex national history — endures. Happy Independence Day!


Comments always are welcome.

53 thoughts on “Celebrating the Red, White, and Blue

  1. And no tanks to mar the view, no war planes screaming overhead, no would-be dictators spouting off – how lovely.

      1. It is hard to ignore the fact that it is being turned into something else. I wonder if Americans have any idea how the rest of the world views this?

        1. I suspect that at least a few might. I hear there are newspapers, websites, and broadcasting companies around the world that report such things.

    1. Thank you, rethy. It’s always been one of my favorite days of the year, and I appreciate your good wishes for our celebrations. I hope all’s well with you!

    1. I always smile at your animations, GP. I wonder if this fellow might have bunting around his nest? Happy Independence Day to you; I hope it’s a good one.

  2. Happy Independence Day, Linda. Your photo is perfect for today. It’s also a wonderful reminder of America’s natural beauty, which, along with freedom, is another treasure to be cherished.

    1. A treasure to be cherished, and protected. Even the smallest gestures, like a refusal to litter, can make a difference. The corner of the marina I see from my desk always has been a collection point for every sort of floating trash, but over the past decade, the amount of common trash washing in and out with the tides has declined.

      Now, if only we could get people to stop trampling our national parks and preserves in search of the best selfies — that would be improvement on a grand scale.

    1. It is a special day, although some of the cats, dogs, and horses I know already are planning where they’ll hide out when the fireworks start. I’m as fond of aerial fireworks displays as anyone, but I tend to prefer quieter celebrations, and these flowers provide that sense of quiet celebration quite nicely. I’m glad you enjoyed them.

  3. Birds of a feather flock together; or is it American photographers today put on a three-color display? Not so coincidentally we did the same thing this morning, reaching back for an appropriate red-white-blue view from nature. I sure hope what we celebrate today will endure, even if history teaches that nothing lasts forever.

    1. I hope so, too. Some cultures and families have a kind of enduring identity composed of shared history, traditions, and aspirations that endures through even the most difficult circumstances. Whether our national identity that’s developed over time is strong enough to endure current difficulties is hard to say, but I have my own hopes that resolution of some issues will come in my lifetime.

      In the meantime, hooray for nature’s red, white, and blue, and the freedom we have to record it.

    1. Thanks, Tina. It will be a quiet day for most locals. As the tourists pour in, many of us avoid the beaches and the water, choosing instead to stick to the back yard or places like the wildlife refuges. I have two items on my agenda for the day: making a peach cobbler, and checking out the eryngo in a friend’s pasture. I hope your day’s as pleasant!

    1. Don’t forget the Texas flag. It’s a great combination of red, white, and blue, as well. But only our United States has this great 1906 song that you surely know so well — Cohen’s song about that Grand Old Flag.

      There. Don’t you feel more Independence-day-ish now?

  4. Delightful! (and despite the pounding rains, some of my fend for yourself flowers are managing their own patriotic colors display).
    Great choice for your post ( and must fly back for the other one which is no doubt equally appropriate)

    1. Yesterday’s rains were a bit of a surprise, weren’t they? The resilience of the plants is remarkable, and I’m glad yours survived — although a recent experience with a basket-flower helped to explain that resilience. (There will be more on that in a future post.)

      I’ve been fond of this photo since I came by it. It’s always fun to share something that’s both appropriate and a little different.

  5. Talk about being in the right place at the right time! This is a lovely photo, Linda — thanks for sharing your red, white, and blue here. Happy Fourth to you!

    1. I’m glad you like the flowers, Debbie. It’s nice to be able to mark Independence Day with a Texas flower — that white bluebonnet — that showed a streak of independence, itself.

      I hope your day’s wonderful. Here’s a little light entertainment that I think you’ll get a kick out of.

      1. You’re right — that’s great! Golly, it’d almost be worth it for me to learn piccolo, too, if for nothing more than to play the Stars and Stripes Forever once a year!!

      1. Now THAT’S a performance!! Thanks so much, Linda — you’ve made my day. Ninety-four piccolos?? Sounds like a choir of tiny birds … or maybe bees … but what a great visual!!

    1. Not only that, floral fireworks don’t scare the dogs — or cats, for that matter. These are pretty flowers, and finding that red, white, and blue grouping knocked me out. To find a white bluebonnet always is exciting, but to find a nice, fresh one with nice, fresh companions was a treat I didn’t expect. My inner five-year-old wanted to run right home and show them off immediately, but I managed to wait until the right day.

      Happy Independence Day, Rob!

    1. Thanks, Pit. It’s a special day; I hope you and Mary are enjoying it. Between the volcano erupting in Stromboli and the earthquake in southern California, I’ll be pleased to make do with fireworks tonight.

  6. Happy Independence Day, Linda. That’s a beautiful bouquet for the observance of this significant day. Our neighbor who does fireworks annually has just started with them here. We’ve been lucky that none of our dogs have taken badly to the sounds but I know of others that have run away during these times. I agree yours is a more better way to celebrate.
    Enjoy the fireworks there tonight. Sadly, I retire well before they start here (I’ve never photographed fireworks) but I get to begin my mornings with fireworks most often.

    1. We watched a few fireworks last night, but mostly listened. I’m surrounded by smaller shows from the little towns around the bay; I’d love to go into Houston to see the big show there, but I’m not willing to deal with the traffic, the parking, and so on. It would be a couple of hours each way, and to that, I say, “No way.”

      I was so pleased to find this little bouquet, just waiting to be admired. The red isn’t exactly the traditional firecracker red, but it’s got the red spirit, and that’s what counts. There’s always room for a little adaptation.

      1. Four hours of driving, especially with one way late at night would certainly put most of us off.
        Glad you stayed safe and local. Hereabouts we have some pretty nice fireworks at the University of Massachusetts. But it draws a large crowd and is also difficult to watch from afar as the highway that passes the football stadium where they are held is always lined with cars. This year they actually closed the highway for that reason. In Springfield, MA which is a half hour ride they shoot off the fireworks from one of the bridges over the Connecticut River. Probably a little easier to find a vantage point than UMass but in either case, for me, just too many people. One of these years I have to see what they look like from atop Mount Pollux.
        Well, red is red, unless it’s carmine or scarlet or rose or candy or lipstick or brick or firecracker….so I think your wine cup red is just fine.

    1. Thanks, Maria. Now that it’s the Fifth of July, we can move on to find new treasures. I’ve spent so much time in east Texas recently, a friend and I are heading back to the Brazoria preserve in just a bit, to see what’s happening there. I hope the rest of your holiday weekend’s delightful.

    1. Some pink, too. I’ve found white variants of two species of Sabatia: the meadow pinks and pinewoods rose gentian. It always tickles me — it’s as exciting as finding a fasciated plant.

    1. It’s one of my all-time favorite photos, Terry. I so wanted to be able to capture all of those flowers in one frame, I threw caution — and my dignity — to the winds, and went down to ground level. I may have provided some entertainment to the others in the cemetery, but now I have the photo, and the memory!

      1. I know what you mean. About half of my wildflower photos were taken from the prone position. You also get to know all of the sharp stickers in the area as well as the friendly (or not) insects that live in the grass.

            1. They almost go with this photo. They’re red, they make us blue — I’m not sure what the white is. Maybe whatever potion we use to ease the pain!

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