Here in south Texas, one harbinger of spring is the beautiful bluebonnet. We begin looking for patches of the state flower along highways and in open fields in March and usually are rewarded with multiple sightings by spring break. I never tire of seeing the purply-blue beauties and become sad when bluebonnet season ends in April. Most of the photos shown here practically were taken in my neighborhood (actually, the bluebonnets live in the master-planned community next to mine).
Historian Jack Maguire wrote this about the bluebonnet: “It’s not only the state flower but also a kind of floral trademark almost as well known to outsiders as cowboy boots and the Stetson hat. The bluebonnet is to Texas what the shamrock is to Ireland, the cherry blossom to Japan, the lily to France, the rose to England and the tulip to Holland.”
Yep, it’s a GREAT flower! One urban myth about the bluebonnet is that because it’s been the state flower since 1901, it’s illegal to pick it. That’s not true; however, it’s better to just leave them for everyone else to enjoy looking at as they drive or walk by.
There actually are five species of bluebonnets; all are considered to be the state flower. Here in south Texas (obviously, the best part of the state!), the species we see is lupinus texensis. It’s the one known as the Texas bluebonnet. And it’s gorgeous in person; photos don’t do it justice.
By the way, the Gonzales bluebonnet photo was taken with the Nikon 105mm lens. For the neighborhood ones I used the Nikon 17-55mm lens; I love how it seems to supersaturate the colors.
Yet another sad harbinger of spring is the one-and-done nature of my alma mater, the University of Illinois, in the NCAA basketball tournament. They didn’t look good in the Big Ten tournament, but I thought they could handle Western Kentucky. Sigh! At least now I don’t have to angst over them for the rest of the tourney.
Other than that, my picks are looking good in our family March Madness pool. The Mister and I are tied for the lead; however, he had Illinois beating Gonzaga, so I should gain a point on him. I loved how a couple of the #10 seeds beat the #7 seeds (Maryland over California and Michigan over Clemson); great mild upsets, especially since those were my picks! We’re glad, though, that #10 seed Minnesota did not beat #7 seed Texas!
The #2 son, who is our pool master, gives us extra points for upsets . . . the bigger the upset, the more points we can earn. My upset specials for today are two #12 teams beating #5s: Wisconsin over Florida State and Arizona over Utah. If both happen, I’ll get six extra points! I also have another #10 beating a #7—Southern Cal over Boston College. It makes watching the action that much more interesting!