Tag Archives: bluebonnets

Springing Along

Brown-eyed Susans (like me!) are abundant.

Brown-eyed Susans (like me!) are abundant.

Now that we’ve finally bid a not-so-fond farewell to winter, the wildflowers in our neighboring master-planned community are flourishing.

Two of my favorite wildflowers

Two of my most-loved wildflowers

I’m happy to report that small patches of bluebonnets and Indian paintbrush continue to thrive.

Bzzzzzzz!

Bzzzzzzz!

Which means that the little buzzers are sticking around. Which is fine as long as they’re not sticking me!

Indian blankets mix with pink evening primrose.

Indian blankets mix with other blossoms.

Finally showing their lovely orange-yellow blooms are Indian blankets, another favorite wildflower of mine. It always seems like there are no two alike.

The poppies mingle with the pink evening primrose and the red phlox.

A couple poppies mingle with pink evening primrose and red phlox.

New to the scenery are orange and red poppies. They’ve dotted the landscape before, but now they’re out in copious amounts.

Even more poppies

Poppies are plentiful.

Every week it seems like there’s something different to see, which makes me look forward to my exercise even more.

Who knows what this weekend will bring. I can’t wait to find out!

One-Word Wednesday

I’ve never seen such a hefty bluebonnet before.

This was the first time I had seen such a hefty bluebonnet. It stood out among its skinny pals in our neighboring community’s patch of wildflowers.

Chubby!

And now I’ve seen two of them!

And now I’ve seen two of them!

Pretty Progress

Bluebonnets galore!

Bluebonnets galore!

It’s been almost seven weeks since I posted a photo of the first bluebonnet in my neighboring master-planned community.

A lot has happened in that time. As in a bountiful burst of blooming bluebonnets!

But that’s only part of the story.

This is the patch where the first bluebonnet bloomed.

This is the patch where the first bluebonnet blossomed.

Adding to the gorgeous bluish-purple hue that Texans love so much is an abundance of red and pink.

The pink, as in evening primrose, always joins the bluebonnets this time of year. But that fiery red?

A colorful display

A colorful display

For the first time since I’ve been jogging and walking in this area, Drummond phlox has inundated the scenery. In the past, there might be a half dozen or so of the crimson cuties dotting the landscape. But times have changed . . . at least for this wildflower season.

Plenty to see here

Plenty of purty posies

Welcome to the neighborhood!

Buzzing Around the Bluebonnets

They’re baaack!

They’re baaack!

As I’ve written many times in this blog, getting up close and personal with my beloved bluebonnets has a distinct downside: Bees love ’em, too. That means that my sting-phobic self battles its nerves to stay as steady as possible while snapping away with my Nikon dSLRs.

Good thing my Nikon 105mm macro lens has a VR (Vibration Reduction) setting!

Checking it out.

Checking it out.

Of course, I’m a fan of bees, because without them we wouldn’t have certain fruits and veggies.

And this one, too.

And this one, too.

But I prefer to shoot solo, thank you very much. I don’t like the little buzzers infringing on my space.

See ya!

See ya! Wouldn’t want to bee ya!

And, apparently, they feel the same way about me!

Spring Has Sprung!

Love seeing all this orange!

Love seeing all this orange!

According to the official calendar, spring arrived yesterday. It was ushered in by our neighboring master-planned community with a gorgeous Indian paintbrush show.

There are three distinct kinds of paintbrush growing.

There are three distinct kinds of paintbrush growing.

I first noticed the splash of orange earlier this week as I drove past an area where a small crop of paintbrush bloomed last year. Now it’s definitely large and in charge!

These look reddish.

These look almost reddish.

As much as I enjoy seeing them, I wish they were sprinkled among the bluebonnets that are in another area of the community. Having orange and blue together reminds of my beloved alma mater, the University of Illinois.

Hail to the orange (Indian paintbrush), hail to the blue(bonnets)! And, especially, hail to spring!!

One-Word Wednesday

These first bluebonnets have company now!

These first bluebonnets have company now. Lots of bud-dies!

More!

As one matures, another one blooms.

As one matures, another one blooms.

Soon all of them will be this gorgeous blue-purple.

Soon all of them will be this gorgeous shade of blue-purple.

In another week, these bluebonnets will be pretty big.

Love Texas’ state flower, little and big!

Bluebonnet Buddies

Looking very purply

Looking very purply now

When I checked on the first 2014 bluebonnet last Saturday, I was pleased that it was still going strong. Plus I couldn’t help but smile when I saw what was surrounding it.

The more the merrier

The more the merrier

Friends! Hopefully, the first of many. It’s great to know that before long purple will rule the landscape in our neighboring master-planned community.

But that’s not all.

Staying in the same color scheme

Staying in the same color scheme

I spotted these lovely, delicate wildflowers (linaria, also called toadflax) along the walking path about a quarter mile from the bluebonnets. I haven’t seen them in this area since 2011.

Kind of on the purple spectrum, I guess

Kind of on the purple spectrum

Once the (hopefully!) last gasp of winter blows through in a day or two, I expect that spring is going to push plenty of blooms our way.

Believe me, I’m ready for them!

Sidebar: I’ve been claiming that it’s the last cold day of winter for about six weeks. I hope I’m right soon!

Late April Update

Still blue and beautiful

Still blue and beautiful

Now that it’s the end of April, it’s time to assess how the nearby wildflowers are doing as we head into Houston’s loooooong, hot summer. So I recently took a nature walk in our neighboring master-planned community to snap a few pics.

First and most importantly, the bluebonnets still are growing and thriving. Unfortunately, the weeds are overgrown around them in many places; I’m hoping that’s some sort of landscaping plan rather than laziness by the maintenance crew.

There’s a lot of pink.

There’s a lot of pink.

Adding to all that blue is an amazing amount of pink, thanks to a bumper crop of evening primrose. These little beauties are all over the place in Houston!

Indian blankets add lovely pops of color.

Indian blankets add lovely pops of color.

I’ve been jogging in this community for about six years, and it’s been interesting how the wildflowers are ever-changing. For example, this is the first time the Indian blankets have been plentiful. That makes me smile, because they’re one of my faves.

However, I’ve yet to see a sunflower. Those have been commonplace the last few years. I guess life is all about trade-offs, even when it comes to nature.

You can never have too much purple.

You can never have too much purple.

A recent returnee along the walking path are foxgloves in different shades of purple.

Up close and personal

Up close and personal

They’re pretty as both a group and individually and are springing up all along the route.

A waspy bee enjoys an Indian blanket.

A waspy bee enjoys an Indian blanket.

One thing that hasn’t changed? Those flippin’ bees! Wherever I go, whatever I do, they seem to think we’re going to go through it together (name that song!)

A bee hovers over a bluebonnet.

A bee hovers over a bluebonnet.

Personally, I’m a solo act.

Painting a Prettier Wildflower Picture

Note the treasures among the bluebonnets: Indian blankets plus a bee!

Note the treasures among the bluebonnets: Indian blankets plus a bee!

As much as I’ve truly enjoyed chasing after our beautiful Texas wildflowers, I can’t help but think how nice it would be if my favorites bloomed within my comfy 10-mile radius.

While I love looking at the throngs of bluebonnets and occasional (for now) Indian blankets a mere mile from my door, I yearn for more variety like I’ve seen along our state’s highways and in small towns. In particular? Indian paintbrush.

As a matter of fact, I was contemplating how happy I would be if I saw a patch or two of orange during my eight-mile walk last Sunday in my neighboring master-planned community. I was coming around a newer section of its walking path when . . . .

Holy cow!

Holy cow!

This popped into view!

Not a lot but a good start

Not a lot but a good start

There standing tall before me was a small section of Indian paintbrush, the first time I’d seen this wildflower so close to home. I was thrilled!

But then I got greedy.

I started thinking of how much I love seeing that awesome orange melding with the bluebonnets. Wouldn’t it be great to see that during my journey?

Be still, my beating heart!

Be still, my beating heart!

And it was! As I continued walking along the path, I saw a small stretch of the very mix I desired. I just about shouted with joy . . . so, of course, a runner suddenly came towards me looking quizzical. I pretended I was just singing along with a song on my iPod Shuffle until he disappeared.

Whew! Temporarily dodged a “she’s crazy” bullet!!

I’m going to eagerly watch this area to see how it fills in.

Another bluebonnet fan

Another bluebonnet fan

I’ll bet the bees feel the same!

Nature’s Surprises

A fly enjoys some purply goodness.

A fly enjoys some purply goodness.

Sometimes it’s easy to see nature’s freeloaders while I’m snapping away at wildflowers.

Buggy!

Buggy!

As I get up close and personal with my Nikon 105mm macro lens, insects often come into focus along with the flora.

I didn’t notice the little antennas until I edited this photo on my iMac.

I didn’t notice the little antennas until I edited this photo on my iMac.

Other times the vagrant varmints show up as I work in Photoshop in the comfort of my home office. I wonder how I could’ve missed them while I was in the thick grass.

Not all of nature’s winks, though, are actually on flowers. Last Saturday as I was about to lean over to take a bluebonnet photo, something odd “hoppened” that was kinda “hare-owing” (somebody stop me!):

Bye, bye, bunny!

Bye, bye, bunny!

Quick as a bunny . . . because it was one . . . this critter near me shot out and scurried down the walking path. Got my heart to racing like Danica Patrick at Daytona.

Mental note: When it comes to nature photography, be careful of busy bees and rascally rabbits!