Texans love bluebonnets and we love taking bluebonnet portraits. The sturdy blue flowers grow in abundance along the highways in the early spring, thanks to the foresight of Lady Bird Johnson. For most of us, at some point in our lives, we have had to squat down in a sea of bluebonnets on the side of the road for our official bluebonnet picture … all the while hoping that a car would not run over us and the fire ants would not bite us. But, after the event (if there had not been too much crying) we had a portrait de beauté. And, we were proud.
So, it was just natural that I felt that I needed to take a bluebonnet portrait of our one-year-old pup, Neville, amongst the state flowers. However, when a friend caught us shooting Neville’s bluebonnet photo, I knew I was in trouble. “Really, you’re kidding, right? Your’re not taking a bluebonnet picture of Neville … are you?”
At first, I tried to pretend that he was just sniffing for squirrels, but alas, he was all primped up and posing and it was just too obvious. So I confessed. “Yes, as a Texan dog, he knows this just comes with the territory.”
And, when I was questioned as to whether I had portraits of my human children, I was relieved that I could say, “Yes I do.” So, here are a few pieces of proof that I treated my first three just as specially as our newest addition … if you can call forcing your children to dress up and sit near possible varmint holes special.
And speaking of bluebonnets, WHAT a season we are having … the prettiest in years. See below for a great weekend tip for bluebonnet sightings if you are in the Austin area. Some people are suggesting that this weekend may be the peak, while others are pointing to next weekend. But either way, I hope everyone can take a bit of time off to just enjoy this little Texas miracle.
And, if you see someone on the side of the highway shooting bluebonnet pictures of her dog, she is not me.
Below are some pictures taken of our girls, friends and cousins, who, as card-toting Texans, were kindly posing for the required Texas Bluebonnet Portrait when they were little … proof positive that Neville was just partaking in family tradition.
A wonderful teacher from our school shared these great bluebonnet sighting tips if you are around the Austin area this weekend.
“In 45 years of driving the Central Texas hill country, I’ve never seen bluebonnets as lush as we saw this afternoon on Hwy. 71 between the end of metropolitan Austin and Llano (app. 60 miles). In good years, this has been one of my favorite bluebonnet roads. Difference this year? For mile after mile after mile, they wrap right up to both sides of the highway and extend into the fields on both sides–in puffy blankets. Every time you crest a little rolling hill and think you’ve seen the best, you get a view of a blue sea that runs for 3 more hills, and often well out into the fields on either side of the road.
If you’re from this area, you know that some years are great, some are meager, most are “average” (still beautiful), and the bluebonnet season is relatively short. I’m sending this because this is the best I’ve ever seen, and there are probably one or two good weekends left. Our drive took 4-5 hrs.
The other spectacular road we took was Hwy. 152 between Llano and Castell. It wasn’t shabby south of Castell to Hwy. 87, which runs from Mason to Fredericksburg. What’s different about Hwy. 152? It’s a county road–smaller, less traveled, but very good surface. More curves, more dips, more creek crossings (dry today). More opportunities for one breathtaking view after another, even more luscious, pillow-like flights of bluebonnets, even more other wildflowers mixed-in, for yellows, golds, oranges, purples, other blues, and whites.”
Enjoy the bluebonnets, and don’t forget your cameras.