Wildflower season in Texas, a magic carpet of color

A red, white, and blue patriotic spring is in full swing in the fields of east-central Texas.

Guessing that the early wildflowers were in full bloom east of Austin, I made a wildflower run right after school dropoff yesterday — a little late for the golden hour of sunrise, but what the heck. You grab a moment when you can find it. And boy am I glad I did.

I headed out Highway 71 to FM 535, southwest of Bastrop near Rockne — about an hour’s drive from central Austin — and found Texas bluebonnet and Indian paintbrush mixing it up in a magic carpet of color.

Not everything is bigger in Texas. How did these diminutive wildflowers come to occupy such a large place in our hearts?

Winter is not onerous here. We don’t really require cheering up after our mild, evergreen winters.

And yet this tapestry of spring color makes our hearts sing. All along the roadsides you’ll see people hunched over to take photos of the wildflowers, recording the beauty of the season.

Yesterday it was me!

Wildflower photography rules to live by in Texas: don’t cross fences or otherwise enter private property; don’t trample a good stand of wildflowers but leave the show for others to enjoy; and watch out for fire ants and snakes. And take time to breathe deeply because a field of bluebonnets smells like heaven.

Just down the road from the Persian carpet of bluebonnets and paintbrush I found an even bigger field of solid bluebonnets — and this water tower smiling as if pleased to see them too.

I gasped to see so many — bluebonnets spreading out to the horizon.

Pure magic! The white tips of the thickly clustered bluebonnets created the illusion of snow-covered ground, at least from certain angles. A few red paintbrush have invaded, but the field is mainly blue, blue, blue.

Along the fence, a few more paintbrush are sprinkled in. But what do I see in the midground?

Pale pink bluebonnets! A little surprise from Mother Nature.

I hope you enjoyed the show. Have a great weekend, and if you live in central Texas, get out there and enjoy those wildflowers.

All material © 2006-2014 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

43 Responses

  1. Alison says:

    Beautiful! I love these shots of the ground just totally carpeted with wildflowers. The pale pink one is so sweet.

  2. Breathtaking, Pam! I am so glad you shared that :)

  3. That one field was the bluebonnet jackpot, wasn’t it? Thanks for sharing your road trip. April gets so busy for gardeners it can be tough to find the time but your post shows it’s well worth making the time.

  4. Just beautiful.
    There’s a field between here and Dripping Springs, that is covered. I need to get out and take some photos.
    Thanks for brightening the day.

  5. I love the red and blue together…..amazing photos!

  6. Debi Deason says:

    So beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing; I miss the wildflowers from up in that area; here in “way south” Texas, it doesn’t get cold enough to crack the seed coats of bluebonnets.

  7. Shirley says:

    Beautiful! These photos remind me so much of long ago trips from Houston to Austin in the spring when the fields of blue seemed to go on forever. I’ve often wondered if those fields blanketed in blue still exist and now I know where to find them!

    Thank you Pam.

  8. Martha Cray says:

    Just lovely–thanks for sharing!

  9. Thanks for sharing those glorious pictures! I doubt I’ll ever get the chance to see them in the life, but I’ve heard so much about the bluebonnets of Texas.

  10. TexasDeb says:

    Simply breathtaking what a Central Texas field filled with one or even two different wildflowers can look like with enough rain. Thanks very much for going out and getting these shots while the flowers are at their peak. Ladybird would be proud!

  11. You hit a great flower show, regardless of missing the sunrise lighting. I like how things look in your droughts, at least the places getting a more rain. Wish I were there to take a spin through that…

    • Pam/Digging says:

      East of Austin got more rain last year, and so the wildflowers are looking pretty fine. West of Austin, where the drought has been particularly tenacious, it’s pretty sparse. —Pam

  12. Caleb says:

    I’m in College Station and Texas A&M has a field of wildflowers on campus. Every color of the bluebonnet palette is represented here. I grabbed some photos of pink, purple, pale blue, white, and of course maroon.

  13. peter schaar says:

    Let me add my complements to the others. I’ve only seen a field look like that a couple of times in my entire life, so my hat’s off to you for capturing it. Thanks so much.

  14. Cheryl says:

    Beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing! That is truly an incredible, breath-taking sight.

  15. Wow – the sea of wildflowers is breath-taking! Thanks for sharing these great photos. I’ve been reading your blog for a couple months and really enjoy your posts. I’m relatively new to gardening in Texas, so I’m constantly learning do’s and don’ts from your blog. I’m keeping track of my progress in my own blog, which is such a great way to see how far my garden and I have come in the journey of gardening in Central Texas.

    • Pam/Digging says:

      Thanks for popping by to say hi and let me know about your blog, Rebecca. Gardening in Texas may not be easy, but the challenges make our successes even sweeter. —Pam

  16. Thanks so much for sharing this beautiful post. Almost gave me my lupine fix. Hopefully north Texas will still have some bluebonnets blooming in early May when I’ll be driving north.

  17. Oh, well worth the trip. Jeff said, aren’t there bluebonnets here? Then I showed him a few of the photos and he said, “Ohhhh.” Wow. Even better than those we saw on our trip to Houston.

  18. Robin says:

    Gah! I’ve been waiting to see the Texas bluebonnets! Someday I’ve just got to see them in person. My hubby has been in Dallas on business for the last few weeks, and when I asked if he’d seen any, he just said nah. Men!

    • Pam/Digging says:

      You really need to get on the country roads to see the best show, although roadsides along Austin have been covered in them for several weeks. They’re past peak now, but the blanketflowers and Mexican hats are starting to bloom. I hope you make it to Texas for the bluebonnets one day, Robin. —Pam

  19. Les says:

    The two photos right after the water tower look like s seascape. What a special event.

  20. Scott says:

    Gorgeous! Were all these photos taken on FM 535 around Rockne? Thinking about checking it out this year.