Spring, Sprung


Colorful. Chaotic. Compelling. That’s spring in Texas, and the season is upon us. Last weekend, I traveled through a portion of the state to see what I could see. What I saw included familiar flowers (bluebonnets and Indian paintbrush), some personal favorites (white prickly poppies and fringed puccoon), some unfamiliar blooms, and an out-of-this world photographic experience at a famous Texas shrine that gave new life to Oat Willie’s cry: “Onward, through the fog.”

Uncertain how to begin sharing such riches, I decided this mixed bouquet would make a fine start. Bluebonnets, yellow huisache daisy, Indian paintbrush, and a tiny bit of pink Lindheimer’s beeblossom frame the single magenta winecup. Needless to say, this wildflower lover’s cup is overflowing.


Comments always are welcome.

68 thoughts on “Spring, Sprung

    1. It was a hard decision, believe me. Beyond choosing an image, the process of sorting through what I brought home left me in awe of what you must deal with. Hundreds of photos are one thing; thousands would be something else.

    1. It was mid-morning, about 10 a.m. The time stamp on my camera wasn’t right, but I can guarantee I didn’t take it at 1:00 a.m. The morning had been densely foggy, and this was among the first photos I took after the fog had lifted a bit; it still was cloudy, and the diffuse light seemed to make the colors really pop.

    1. We’ve been back-and-forthing a bit ourselves, but I’ve had a sense that when ‘real spring’ arrived, subtlety was going to go out the door. It seems to have done just that.

    1. I’ve sometimes thought that the prevalance of the primary colors — blue, red, and yellow — is part of what makes our spring flowers so appealing. There are plenty of pink, white, and lavender flowers to admire, but we’re especially fond of our brightest flowers.

    1. As you well know ~ you’re living in Wildflower Central. How are things looking in your neighborhood? I found some of the prettiest flowers around Buckhorn and Burleigh last year — and of course I resolved to make it to Repkas this spring. The time has come!

      1. Hello my friend, so far out here, there’s not much…yet. But heading to Hempstead there’s definitely signs and it will only become more beautiful shortly! If you’re out to Repka’s and up for company, please give me a shout. We’re not but maybe 5-7 minutes from there!

          1. No worries! I’m hoping to get outside more this coming week to see what flowers are popping (and to hopefully enjoy the weather before it heats up) since we’ll be on spring break. Yahoo!

    1. Let’s just say I often get down and dirty when it comes to photographing flowers. After a day of exploring, I never have the impulse to visit a gym; I’ve done enough up-and-downing to keep me limber.

    1. Nothing brings a smile faster than a field of wildflowers. I love our white flowers, but who could resist the bright colors of our most famous spring flowers? It’s as though they’re competing with one another to catch the attention of the pollinators.

    1. I ranged pretty widely on this trip, and found a lot of variation. Flowers at the Rockport cemetery were clearly fading, and clearly in need of rain. Around Gonzales and Goliad, many of the flowers were just coming on, although there were fields of bluebonnets. I think Indian paintbrush were well developed, but the fog was so thick in places it was hard to distinguish them from brownish grasses. Once I passed Eagle Lake on 90A, heading to Houston, it was as though nature’s said, “No more flowers for you!” Only the spider lilies were blooming in the ditches.

        1. That area’s always been rich in spider lilies. I’m thinking of retracing that route on Sunday, if it’s sunny. There are places I wouldn’t mind photographing the bluebonnets again in better light, before swinging by the Attwater Prairie Chicken Preserve.

    1. I never had one of the ubiquitous Oat Willie’s bumper stickers, but I did have an R. Crumb “Keep on Truckin'” tee shirt, and I made it to Luckenbach before the yuppies displaced the hippies. Good times. Even today, “Onward, through the fog” is an expression I hear on a fairly regular basis. It seems to have embedded itself in the culture, and it sure does cover a multitude of situations — including Monday mornings.

    1. Part of the fun was finding some old friends exactly where I expected them to be. When Steve showed his first Engelmann’s daisy of the year, I said I thought I knew where I could find them. Sure enough: the first one I saw was along Alt90, in almost exactly the spot where I found them last year. It was the same with the Rockport cemetery. The display wasn’t nearly so lush as in the past, but sure enough: back “there,” under “that bench,” I found the same patch of globe mallow I’ve admired for years. Happy times!

    1. Right now, our trees are the culprits when it comes to allergies; the oak trees are putting out more pollen than I’ve seen in some time. It’s been so thick that people are hosing off their cars every other day. Even in fields of flowers I don’t have much trouble, but when the wind picks up and that tree pollen starts blowing around, it’s sneeze city.

    1. Every spring, we wonder: will this year’s flowers live up to last year’s? Inevitably, the answer is a resounding, “Yes!” They’ll be different, but they’re always just as beautiful.

    1. Blue and yellow always reminds me of Van Gogh, but it doesn’t take sunflowers for the combination to please. I just looked at my photos, and I have some blue and yellow that will knock your socks off!

    1. You’ve got that right. The best part of our wildflower season is that once it begins, it goes on for a while. Even after the first flowers have faded, we have at least two more “seasons” with different flowers blooming, right into fall. Heaven, indeed.

  1. I was scrolling down my Reader and there were your gorgeous wildflowers! I knew I could count on you for my first bluebonnets. I haven’t taken a drive to find any yet along the highways. We made it to another Bluebonnet spring! I will look forward to your sharing more, Linda. Thanks!

    1. I was glad I decided to make the trip last weekend. When I realized it was Fulton’s Oysterfest, and found out that there wasn’t a room to be had in Rockport, I almost decided against it. But I’m glad I took the time to visit the Rockport cemetery and prowl around Goliad and Gonzales a bit. I think in a couple weeks things really will be popping. The pink evening primroses (your buttercups) were just getting thick, and the big, fat thistles are just beginning to bud. If I can swing even a long weekend to Jourdanton, Pleasanton, etc., I might give it a try.

      In the meantime, I certainly can provide you with more bluebonnets!

  2. What a spectacular display (of wildflowers).
    I’d be outdoors every day if I could see that display around my home.

    1. Every time spring rolls around, Vicki, I’m astonished again by how beautiful the flowers are. Believe me, once the bloom begins the urge to get out among them is nearly irresistable. I did realize this trip that three days in a row is enough. I was so tired when I got home, I was ready to go back to work to rest up.

  3. Oh. My. Gosh. That photo is my dream – I would so love to just have a yard that looks like that (knowing the reality is that the rest of the year it would look like a mess & be difficult to walk on – based on how our little wildflower bed looks right now). But it’s just so freaking pretty!

    1. It’s a beautiful time of year, there’s no question about that. One of the best things about it is that once these have faded and gone away, there will be replacements: sunflowers, salvias, coneflowers. Still, the burst of colors at this time of year is thrilling. I can’t wait to show some more — figuring out how to do it is the trick. Every other day posting will be a necessity!

    1. Of course, it depends on which flowers are blooming, and how they’ve decided to set up shop. Some fields are pure blue, or pure red. Sometimes, there are combinations of two flowers: yellow and blue, or red and blue. If the mix of red and blue is perfect, the fields can look purple! There are mixes like this, and some fields where there are ‘stripes’ of color. There’s no end to the looking, or to the photo taking!

    1. It was interesting to see how things varied from one area to another as I traveled. In some places, it was all white prickly poppy; in others, there was an exuberant mix of everything. Phlox here, bluebonnets there. Just sorting through the photos has left me breathless; I can’t wait to share more.

    1. Wonderful, indeed. I’ve been sitting here sorting through images, and I’m astonished by how much color I found in only three days. Not only that, I got some of my very own photos of dew-covered flowers, and a few enshrouded in fog. Being able to get both a frog and fog in the same trip was nearly unbelievable.

    1. Aren’t they pretty? Now, I just have to get organized enough to post something else. For me, the only problem with taking gazillions of photos is finding some that are worthy to see the light of day!

  4. Certainly looks like spring to me, Linda. Excellent choice for a photo. Daffodils have burst upon the scene here, but most other flowers are still waiting. Maybe the off-again, on-again snow is confusing them. –Curt

    1. I’ve seen spring approaching for some time, but it suddenly has burst into the open. From one day to the next, new flowers spring up: sometimes individually, and sometimes in groups. It’s hard to keep up with them!

      1. Chuckling here, Linda. Not the day afterward, we were driving into Leesburg and trees were blooming everywhere. The Cherry Blossom Festival starts in Washing tomorrow.

        1. There’s no stopping it now! Spring might get slowed here or there, but at least in the northern hemisphere, we’re full steam toward summer. I read today that the snowpack in the southern Sierra is greater than it’s ever been. Here’s hoping for a slow snow melt!

    1. I remembered how much you like the wine cups; that’s one reason I chose a photo that included one. How is your wisteria coming? I noticed some local vines a few days ago; the flowers are gone now, and they really have thickened up with leaves. They’re still pretty, but in a different way.

    1. Bluebonnets do have a fragrance, but I can’t detect it until I find a big field filled with them. It’s the same with rain lilies; the scent is much lighter than wisteria or lilacs. No matter. The sight’s as beautiful as the scent!

  5. Wow, so much color. This is the sort of scene I love seeing photographs partially because it’s something I’m just not used to see outside of a planted environment. I look forward to seeing more as the year goes on.

    1. I have quite a clutch of photos to show; figuring out how to present them’s the issue. We’ve had a more colorful spring than many were anticipating, and my sense that when spring arrived it was going to do so enthusiastically has turned out to be right. I do love the color, and I’ve really enjoyed finding some ‘outliers’ that aren’t exactly rare, but aren’t common, either. All of them are just beautiful.

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