Tag Archives: bluebonnet

One-Word Wednesday

Now that I've seen the first bluebonnet, Texas’ state flower, I know that it’s spring.

Now that I’ve seen my first bluebonnet, Texas’ state flower, I know that it’s spring.

First!

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Horticulture Class

Note the pods!

Note the pods!

A recent article in the “Houston Chronicle” informed us that bluebonnets are part of the bean (legume) family. That struck me as odd, because I had never seen pods near our beloved state flower (yes, images from “The Body Snatchers” did just pop into my head!).

Until last Sunday.

It was too nice of a day to stay inside . . . especially if it meant decluttering, which we need to do desperately. So instead the Mister and I (plus my Nikon dSLR and Nikon 105mm macro lens) left my 10-mile comfort radius and made the big drive to Houston. First, we enjoyed lunch at Goode Co. BBQ. When I saw a small patch of bluebonnets across the street, I walked over and snapped the above pic.

Podsapalooza!!

Almost looks patriotic

Almost looks patriotic

Eventually we ended up at TC Jester Park, where I’ve snapped many a disc golf and wildflower photo. The place was brimming with beauty! Bluebonnets were plentiful.

Over and over

Crimson and clover, over and over

As well as bright crimson clovers (anyone else hearing the Tommy James and the Shondells’ song playing in their head?).

Ready for a drink

Ready for a drink

Winecups dotted the scenery.

Ready to dance

Dance time

Plus a few Mexican hats.

Small but mighty

Small but mighty

Tiny flowers added bits of brightness, too.

Naturally, others horned in on my fun.

King of the bluebonnet!

King of the bluebonnet!

I didn’t mind sharing the experience with skippers and butterflies.

Snuggling with an Indian blanket

Snuggling with an Indian blanket

But, as usual, there were too many bees. I know how important they are in nature. However, when they start chasing me away, I can almost hear them taunting me as they buzz . . .

Part of nature’s cycle

Please bee nice

“Class dismissed!”

A Sea of Bluish Purple

Bluebonnets always make me smile.

Bluebonnets always make me smile.

One of the first things I did when I returned from my short Chicago trip was to drive to the master-planned community next to mine. My goal? See how much the bluebonnets had grown, as well as to check if any other wildflowers were adding to the color scheme.

These might be the most-photogenic flowers ever.

These might be the most-photogenic flowers ever.

Remember the few bluish-purple beauties that braved the end of winter last month?

Now they’re popping out all over where I do my long runs and walks! It’s really breathtaking.

There's a boy-girl theme going on here.

There’s a blue-pink theme going on here.

As for the other wildflowers, well, so far they’re slackers. I mainly noticed pretty pink evening primrose intermingling with the bluebonnets here and there.

A welcome dash of red

A welcome dash of red

The red phlox stood out, but there were too few to make much of a difference.

Looks like the Indian Blanket will have company.

Looks like the Indian Blanket will have company.

Meanwhile, that one, lonely Indian Blanket not only is still hanging in there, but it has some friends nearby that are about to bloom.

Hopefully that sea of bluish purple is about to experience some colorful changes!

A New Floral Wrinkle

It’s bluebonnet season already!

It’s bluebonnet season already!

Remember a couple weeks ago when there were only three little bluebonnets in our neighboring community?

Purple is plentiful.

Purple is plentiful.

Things have changed! Every day more and more of Texas’ gorgeous state flower add color to our landscape.

Clusters of grandeur

Clusters of grandeur

With the bluebonnets erupting so early this year, I’m hoping that the other wonderful wildflowers aren’t far behind.

This is the earliest I’ve ever seen an Indian Blanket.

This is the earliest I’ve ever seen an Indian Blanket; so far there’s only one.

Looks like I could be right!

Not Very Blue

More bluebonnets are springing up!

More bluebonnets are springing up!

I’m not sure why Texas’ state flower is called the bluebonnet.

A beautiful crop

A beautiful crop

The ones blooming in the master-planned community next to ours where I do my longer runs are more purple than blue.

Love ’em no matter what the color

Love ’em no matter what the color

I guess “purplebonnets” sounds a little too odd!

An Episode of NSI

Bluebonnets are easy to identify.

When I’m out snapping pix of wildflowers, something besides the bees always bothers me:

Pretty in pink, whatever it really is

Identifying what in the world I’m shooting.

Pretty in dark pink, too!

Take the above two photos of the pinkish flowers. I think they’re penstemon . . . or are they foxglove? Or does it really matter what they are . . . as long as they’re in focus with nice bokeh?

Budding sunflowerishes

Where I really get confused is with the sunflower family. I can spot a “true” sunflower (they’re usually pretty big).

Love this view of the sunflowerish

But what about the ones that look like sunflowers but really aren’t? Are they black-eyed/brown-eyed Susans (no relation to me, of course)?

Looks the same but is it?

Why do some have a few petals while others have many? Some petals are wide, some are narrow . . . but all are yellow.

The same but different

Some even feature red markings on the petals.

When I identify them in my photos, I call them “sunflowerish.” I guess it’s as good a term as any. I’ve tried Googling, but I don’t find concrete answers.

What I truly need is an NSI squad: Nature Scene Investigation. Forget all that CSI stuff . . . help me ID these wildflowers! STAT!

Rabbit!

Wish all nature IDs could be this easy.

High Flyers and Low Crawlers

Can you find the caterpillar among the bluebonnets?

It’s been a fun week bringing to the blog a taste of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Butterflies love Indian paintbrush.

From wildflowers to cacti to sculptures to out-of-focus hummingbirds, the Austin venue has something for all nature lovers. Including different kinds of critters.

A turtle ignores me.

Turtles swim silently in a small pond near the entrance.

A chrysalis harbors new life.

Chrysalises hang on in screened eclosion boxes where they’re safe from predators.

Silk moth caterpillars hang out on leaves.

An insectary houses caterpillars that will develop into silk moths. I’d never seen so many of the little crawlers in one place before.

A bee hovers over Wright’s skullcap flowers.

My experience with wildflowers has been that beasts usually accompany the beauty. Most of the varmints have been bees, of course, who like the flowers as much as I do.

Is the bee reading the informative sign?

Looks like they want to learn more, too!