Saturday, April 7, 2007


One of the best things about living in Texas is bluebonnets in the spring. The northeast might have brilliant displays of fall foliage, but Texas has wildflowers. They are all along the interstates, highways and rural country roads. They cover the hills of East Texas like a carpet of blue and red. There are certain areas that have higher concentrations of these flowers and there is even a Bluebonnet Trail that you can drive to get a glimpse of the beautiful blue state flower with red-orange Indian paintbrush mixed in. We are fortunate enough to have a few spots close to where we live that are dense enough for picture taking.
If you live in Texas, you know the etiquette for picture taking in the bluebonnets. First and foremost, look for the large, reddish mounds that indicate fire ants. Nothing ruins a great photo-op like fire ants crawling all over your feet, and for some reason they love to nest in the bluebonnets. Secondly, great care should be taken so that the flowers do not get crushed. (It is our state flower after all!) There will usually be small hollows where other people have posed for pictures, and whenever possible those areas should be used for subsequent picture taking. Last but not least, you must crouch or carefully sit (being mindful of etiquette tip #1) in the bluebonnets. They only grow about a foot off the ground and to get a good shot of the subject and the flowers, your face must be somewhere near the bluebonnets. This can require a good bit of balance and dexterity since most large clusters of bluebonnets tend to be on the slopes of hills, but it is worth the effort.

I went with Trevor and the kids yesterday to take our annual bluebonnet pictures. I have tried to get shots of the kids every year since Nathan was born. I wish I could say that I have been faithful every year, but I have missed one or two. We went to the hill we always go to and successfully avoided the fire ants (and they definitely staked out their territory!), trampling the bluebonnets and falling down the hill as we balanced precariously for the perfect shot.

When I got home to take a look at all of the shots, I was pleased to see that we had indeed gotten a few good pictures out of the 60 or so that we took. Sometimes it's hard to get a 6 year old and a 2 year old to cooperate at the same time! So, now I have another year of bluebonnet pictures to send out to the people who expect them (yes...I'm talking to you, Chuck!) and to scrapbook.

There are very few things that I love as much as a beautiful, clear day in April enjoying the bluebonnets. Thank you Lord. Thank you for one more example of the beauty of your creation and for giving us those wildflowers that come back year after year.
“Earth laughs in flowers to see her boastful boys earth-proud, proud of the earth which is not theirs; who steer the plough, but cannot steer their feet clear of the grave.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson (Hamatreya)

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