My dad’s mom and her sisters grew up in Texas. I remember a few bluebonnet-themed items decorating her house in Abuquerque, but when I was a kid I’d never been to Texas in spring, and I didn’t really get it (although I totally love the lupines that grow around Flagstaff. Coincidence?). Many of my second cousins and cousins once-removed still live here, and most, if not all of them, are willing to host us when we come through, which is truly a blessing of Texas-sized proportions (I’m joking about it, but I’m also truly and eternally grateful).
This year, we are here a few weeks earlier than in the past, and maybe it’s the time and exact place, or this may a good year for them, but the bluebonnets are out of control, and the paintbrushes seem epic. Driving between Houston and Austin, the roadsides were positively covered with rolling blankets of flowers. I mean, in profusion, like heaping mounds of cream-topped blueberries in the median and on the hills. The only problem was finding a place to stop where we wouldn’t be flattened by oncoming traffic. Finally I spotted a road that dead-ended beside the highway. We got off and parked there. Bluebonnets smell really good, too. And there were a LOT more of them at McKinney Falls State Park outside Austin, where we spent the night.
I didn’t realize until last year in the Smokies how much we kind of miss out on spring in Flagstaff. I’m not saying anything against my home town, and usually, I’ll take a few daffodils and some warmer weather and be perfectly happy. No need to do so in central Texas though, these guys have the bustin’-out-all-over, leafing trees in all shades of green, aforementioned brimming-over wildflowers kind of spring, which is exotic enough to me to make me want to pull over and take photos.
Happy spring ya’ll!