OUT WITH THE OLD; IN WITH THE BLUE! HERE’S TO THE REJUVENATING POWER OF THE BLUEBONNET.
Forget Punxsutawney Phil and his silly shadow. In Austin, it’s the bluebonnet, in all of its delicate, indigo glory, that announces spring’s arrival.
The official state flower of Texas is our symbol of renewal. Our first sighting of those blue blossoms is a reason to rejoice—no matter how gloomy our winter. We take to social media and tell the world, and soon our travels on those Texas highways begin to resemble drives along the coast as we pass by seas of blue—fields of dreams for miles, it seems.
It’s Texas tradition to risk our lives taking the annual photo of our kids among the bluebonnets, or we could lose Lone Star credibility. So when we see the perfect spot, we pull over no matter how narrow the shoulder, hustle the family out of the car, and snap away. After all, the flowers sometime disappear almost as suddenly as they arrive, so we have to take our shots while we can. This year, however, we should have some time. The rainfall of the past few months indicates a strong season. For confirmation, we turned to the place that honors the legacy of the patron saint of Texas wildflowers, Lady Bird Johnson.
“If we continue to get regular rains through April, we will be in great shape,” says Andrea DeLong-Amaya, director of horticulture for the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. “We’ll have the longest bloom period if we get good rains and mild temperatures.” Get those cameras, phones, and hashtags ready.
Mood indigo: The state’s first bluebonnet sightings were reported in late January in West Texas, which bodes well for the Hill Country wildflower season.