Tag Archives: Indian Blanket

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!

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.

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!”

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!

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!

Still Pretty as a Picture Despite the Heat

Love the colorful accents!

Here’s the bad news: It’s already too hot in Houston.

A yellow lily reaches out.

Followed up by worse news: Summer hasn’t officially begun.

Wonder what the seed balls contain.

Of course, anyone who has lived in Houston for awhile knows that scorching days await us. It’s the hell that we pay for our mild, heavenly winters.

Horsemint blend with black-eyed Susans.

Temperatures in the high 80s have wreaked havoc with so many of the wildflowers I love. Bluebonnets, we hardly knew ye! But some plants still are going strong, keeping the landscape lush and pretty.

A trio of Indian blankets hang on.

I’m not sure how much longer these beautiful blooms will last. So I plan to enjoy them as much as I can!

Bucket List Check-off

Stay on the path!

Probably because I don’t like to travel outside my 10-mile radius, I don’t have a very long bucket list.

A pretty wildflower palette

But one prominent item on that list was a visit to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin (despite the distance).

Almost every flower had an informative sign nearby.

I considered it to be the mecca for wildflower lovers/photographers. So it was a no-brainer to gather up my Nikon D700, Nikon 105mm macro lens, and the Mister and check it out . . . and then off.

Except when you really wanted to know what they were.

Lately the wildflowers that are close to us have been overrun with weeds. The bluebonnets no longer look vibrant, which is a shame.

Huisache hang around.

So it was refreshing to see flora being shown the respect and care they deserve.

Purple is a popular color for wildflowers.

It was easy to be overwhelmed when you’re surrounded with that much beauty. Could 300-plus photos possibly do the center justice?

Mealy blue sage

Fortunately, I won’t post all of them on my blog!

Giant spiderwort

But at the very least I do feel an obligation to give everyone a taste of what I saw while I was there.

A lovely iris

Hey, no need to thank me!

Blue curls

It’s interesting how supposedly blue wildflowers really tend more towards purple.

Tahoka daisy

There’s definitely nothing blue about this daisy!

Prairie fleabane look prettier than their name.

After several hours of walking around the grounds and snapping photos, I made an important decision:

Indian blanket

To put a return trip to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center on my bucket list!

Gonzales’ Wildflowers Wow Me, Too!

Indian paintbrush surround a disc golf basket.

I haven’t traveled all over the great state of Texas.

Indian blankets

In fact, I don’t like to leave my 10-mile radius in our town outside of Houston.

Winecups

Still, I can’t imagine any Texas towns that are prettier than Gonzales during the spring when the wildflowers are blooming.

More Indian paintbrush

It just so happens that driving the back way home from San Antonio takes you smack-dab through this historic, little village. I detoured a bit to see how the flora looked along the disc golf course.

Indian paintbrush amid the bluebonnets

And I was richly rewarded! I’ve never seen so many clusters of Indian paintbrush. They look so wonderful mixed in with the bluebonnets . . . probably because the University of Illinois’ colors just happen to be orange and blue. Hail, alma mater, ever so true (so true).

A butterfly enjoys a false garlic.

The skippers and butterflies, though, seemed partial to the maroon winecups and white false garlic.

I wonder if they’re Aggies!

UTSA’s Wildflowers Wow Me

Photos don’t do the wildflowers justice! It’s best to see them in person.

When I decided to make a solo, one-day visit to see my older son in San Antonio last Saturday, I had four goals in mind.

Phlox show off their purpleness.

The first, of course, was to see my handsome collegian at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Even though he had been home a mere week ago during spring break, I never turn down the chance to spend time with my blue-eyed boy.

Here’s more purple!

Second, we both read “The Hunger Games” a month ago and wanted to see the movie together. It’s so much easier discussing the pros and cons of the film with someone who also enjoyed the novel.

Bluebonnets and lily-like wildflowers go together.

Third, we wanted to check out off-campus housing for the fall. Even though we weren’t able to tour our first choice, we saw it from outside and liked it. Good-bye, dorm!

A small bee flies near a coreopsis.

And, finally, I figured that Texas’ recent abundant rains had produced a bountiful crop of wildflowers. I hoped my Nikon 105mm macro lens would get a workout.

A bokeh’d Indian blanket background surrounds a lone bluebonnet.

Which, of course, it did! After I dropped my son back at his dorm in the early afternoon, I was curious to see what kinds of wildflowers were blooming on the UTSA campus.

A bee enjoys an Indian blanket.

Along a road behind the dorms, the grounds were bursting with beauty! Indian blankets, bluebonnets, coreopsis, and more fought for my lens’ attention.

Which Indian blanket will the bee pick?

Naturally, something else mirrored my wildflower love: Those darned, stinkin’ bees. As always, I moved in as close as possible, shot fast, and quickly walked away before the little buzzers could target me.

Thistle pollen covers a bee.

After about a half hour, I was ready to continue my drive back to Houston, where more of my state’s natural beauty distracted me until I just had to stop and shoot.

Which I’ll share in Thursday’s blog!