Although I had visited Texas on a few occasions over the last two decades, most of the visits were brief spent with family and a few friends. Ever since I left Texas, I reminisce about the spring blue bonnets that carpet their highways and byways. I remember in the early days of living in Virginia wondering how I grow those lovely lupines on the east coast. And as the years passed, my memories of those blue bonnets waned and my floral passion was replaced white images of the snowy delicate Washington cherry blossoms. However, this past Easter weekend I got the surprise chance to re-experience one of my first floral loves the Texas blue bonnets.
So the early Easter Saturday pre-dawn drive, I was hoping I would be seeking a chance to photograph them. It was the Sam Houston statue along highway I-45 that prompted me to pull off the side of the highway, and find my first patch of blue bonnets. True to Texas style, the statue was an eye-catcher for the little town of Huntsville, Texas - not to be mistaken for the Alabama city. There is a nice little shop and museum to check out if you have the time.
An occasional break in the clouds allowed me to get this spectacular shot of sun flare kissing the tops of the flowers. Along with the blue bonnets the pop of contrasting red that dots the fields are the "Indian Paintbrush" wild flowers and a some dainty yellow flowers called Tickseeds, or by their latin name Coreopsis.
As impressive the statue was my eyes kept scanning the highway for my blue carpet of blue bonnets or any iconic Texas scenes - like these grazing cows! And there was a turn off where I was able to get close enough to the bovines. I always have a funny dynamic with farm animals. Maybe because I am not used to their looks, but when I seem to catch their attention I have the feeling that they are eyeing at me like - "What do you think you're doing?" stare.
I still didn't have the image that I was hoping to capture of the a hillside blanketed with the blue bonnets. As I got closer to Dallas I was sure I would find a hill with them. And to my delight, I found a tall hill cascading with the waves of lush bonnets. As precarious it was to pull off the side of the highway as speedy semi-trucks whizzed by, I was able to photograph the iconic wildflowers fluttering in the morning breeze.