The Hill Country’s roadways and pastures are in peak bloom, blanketed by miles of Texas bluebonnets, with pockets of red Indian paintbrush and pink evening primrose, purple prairie verbena, white prickly poppies and yellow primrose and coreopsis. A few winecups, here and there, no Indian Blankets yet. The prospect of more spring rains means the bluebonnets might stay a little bit longer than usual before eventually fading away and going to seed this lovely April in Texas
It seems like an especially memorable season for the wildflowers, particularly the bluebonnets, both in terms of density and color. Yet it’s possible to drive through miles of rich color only to find miles more without any wildflowers at all. For our director Robert Rivard, the ranch roads west of Mason last weekend were showing more bluebonnets than he or his wife, Monika Maeckle, could recall ever seeing. Then, along Hwy. 87 south of Mason on the road to Fredericksburg, the bluebonnets grew even more dense, with big islands of Indian paintbrush, and beyond fencelines, greening pastures carpeted by coreopsis or hundreds of tall Texas poppies.
I set out midweek on Wednesday to drive the Willow City Loop, where I took the photographs displayed here. The bluebonnets were amazing, and here and there, the primrose was blooming nicely, but the strong Indian paintbrush visible near Mason weren’t out along the route I traveled.
There are numerous information sources, like the Lady Bird Johnson Wildlife Center with updated postings on where the wildflowers are peaking, so rather than trace our steps, consult a few sites and then map your weekend drive. The wildflowers sometimes linger, disappearing to our south just as they begin to bloom farther west. This could be one of those years when we enjoy wildflower vistas into May if we know where to find them.
*Featured/top image: Bluebonnets accumulate around an old school house in Sandy Texas. Photo by Scott Ball.