Saturday, March 24, 2007


"It's not only the state flower but also a kind of floral trademark almost as well known to outsiders as cowboy boots and the Stetson hat. The bluebonnet is to Texas what the shamrock is to Ireland, the cherry blossom to Japan, the lily to France, the rose to England and the tulip to Holland." This statement was made by historian Jack Maguire.

They are blooming!

Few statements make me feel the way this one does. For most, it is simply an observance. For me, it is cause to celebrate Texas pride and drive my family crazy.

I am Texas born and Texas bred. I have known all my life that the state flower of the Great State of Texas is the bluebonnet. What I didn't know, was why. With my immature reasoning and understanding I thought that the state flower should be one that is found a lot in the the tumbleweed, or the cactus. (The cactus, by the way, was on the short list of state flowers WAY back in the day.)

When I was in my early 20s, my husband and I moved to Austin. Moving to the Hill Country in July...well, we still didn't notice anything...until early spring. OH MY GOODNESS! NOW I UNDERSTAND! I cannot describe to you the breathtaking beauty that is a field of bluebonnets.

Living in North Texas, I still get to enjoy the beauty of the bluebonnet - thanks to the highway department's beautification project. They have spread TONS of wildflower seeds along Texas highways; and a lot of these seeds are bluebonnets.

The minute I see the deep purplish-blue that covers the fields and sides of the roads in quilted patchwork, I start planning the annual photos of these flowers and my children.

The difficult thing is finding a large patch that is safe to get out with 4 kids (all 7 and under) and go crazy with the digital camera. But every year, I recruit my hubby to help me find the perfect place. I watch the blooms to determine their peak beauty. I then dress the kids, schlepp them to the field, plop them down and snap away. If I'm lucky, nobody gets an ant bite. If I am REALLY lucky, I get some smiles out of the children.

My oldest told me this year that he didn't want to take pictures in the bonnets...that they were prickly and there were bugs on them. Bugs? I know. Prickly? I don't know. I haven't sat in them. That is only for my youngin's. :-)

I brushed his statement off as a little kid that didn't want to go out into the hot sun and say, "CHEESE!" as crazy mom snaps dozens of pics. UNTIL my hubby told me, "My mom used to do stupid stuff like that....I hated it."

Well, honey, I love you. This will just be a memory that my kids will share with you.



Anonymous said...

Precious and funny essay.

Mommy Spice said...

We're taking our playgroup on Monday to get pics in the bluebonnets. Any ideas for a good spot? One of the first things I did after bringing Spicy Girl home was get her out in the bluebonnets to get awesome pictures!! She wasn't crazy about them, but I did get some great pictures.