We could have called this the Texas Wildflower Tour. But we had no way of knowing that every mile we covered would be brilliantly painted by roadside wildflowers.
We were already familiar with the Texas Bluebonnets. They lured us into the Hill Country, causing us to reverse our route just to see them again. The blue spikes topped with a tinge of white are irresistible, just like their larger cousin the lupine which grace the scenic highway on the North Shore. But bluebonnets were only the beginning.
At first it was the Indian Paintbrush, another bloom familiar to us Minnesotans. The reddish orange spikey flowers were joined by other reds, yellows, oranges, whites and purples. We tried to photograph them as we found each new variety. It was a fun yet never ending task. Just as one set of flowers disappeared, new ones came to take their place.
We found the flowering cacti to be especially appealing. For all the times we’ve seen cactus, we have never seen them in bloom. The prickly pear burst out in yellow and orange flowers.
As we moved into the northeastern part of the state, we detected a definite change. First, flowers that were petering out in the Hill Country were just coming into bloom. It was a spring resurgence. Even bluebonnets made a return appearance.
Then the further into the Piney Woods we got, the thicker the vegetation. No longer did we see delicate little blossoms. New bushy varieties took hold, as did tall flowers like black eyed Susans. Competing for sunshine in the heavy undergrowth, when they thrived they dominated the roadside.
The sheer delight of mixed BLOSSOMS lining the roadway called to us. We couldn’t resist wading into the explosion of color.
We were drawn by the bluebonnets. Little did we know there was a whole world of Texas wildflowers, beyond the bluebonnets.