Sometimes a Star, Sometimes a Supporting Character

Bluebonnets, Indian Paintbrush, and Nueces Coreopsis near La Vernia, Texas

When spring arrives and blankets of blue wrap around the pastures and hills of rural Texas, “Let’s go look at the flowers” is a common invitation: one that generally means, “Let’s go look at the bluebonnets.” Still, as the season progresses, those blue beauties are joined by a multitude of other colors.

My own preference is for these fields of mixed flowers. When I see them, the red, yellow, and blue finger paints of my pre-school years come to mind, along with the little red, yellow, and blue chairs in my first grade reading circle. Discovering the same colors shining in the sunlight always brings a smile.

Here, Engelmann’s daisies (Engelmannia peristenia) stand out against a multi-colored background that also includes what I first took to be a variety of sneezeweed (Helenium spp.), but now know to be huisache daisy (Amblyolepis setigera).

Engelmann daisies and friends ~ Goliad, Texas

Sometimes, even a weed can add color, as when wind-blown dock (Rumex spp.) provides an impressionistic touch to a hidden parcel of flowers.

Curly Dock, Toadflax, and Groundsel on an unnumbered road outside Smiley

Far from any town, a pleasing winecup serves to accent fading bluebonnets and blue curls. At the right of the image, you can see the fuzzy bluebonnet seed pods already forming.

A fading but still bright collection of flowers at an intersection of two county roads

Despite drought and freeze, nature’s spring production is continuing its run, and there’s still time to catch the show.

 

Comments always are welcome.

Appetizers and Leftovers

When it comes to nature’s floral feast, buds are akin to appetizers: tiny bits of delectable beauty that whet our appetite for what’s to come. Here, a single coreopsis bud (Coreopsis basalis) gleams against the glow of bluebonnets and other coreopsis at the Rockport City Cemetery.

Even after a several-course meal, a bit of sweetness is nice. Here, a white prickly poppy, though reduced to stigma, stamens, and prickles, remains sweet enough to attract what appears to be a tiny tumbling flower beetle (Mordella sp.). The very opposite of the over-petaled example I’d seen near this spot, it attracted my eye, as well.

Comments always are welcome.

A First Glimpse of Spring

 

 

Which Texas wildflowers will bloom first, and when, varies from year to year. On March 7, bluebonnets (Lupinus texensis), the coreopsis known as golden wave (Coreopsis basalis), and phlox predominated in the Rockport City Cemetery: thick enough in some places to nearly cover the gravestones.

Despite cool winds and cloudy skies, they had that certain springlike glow about them, delighting both roaming photographers and roaming pollinators. Over the next days, I’ll show some of my favorites from my explorations: a few old friends, and a few new discoveries.

 

Comments always are welcome.
Click any image for greater size and more detail.