One thing I miss about living in New England is the fall foliage. But little did I realize until we moved here, Texas has its own special season. Spring is when the wildflowers take over the state, dotting grassy green banks and fields everywhere with gorgeous hues of orange, blue, yellow and red. It’s different than foliage, but just as stunning in its own special way.
Apparently last year there hadn’t been much rainfall, which explains why I barely noticed that it was wildflower season when we first moved here in March. But this year it’s quite the opposite — nearly everywhere you turn, it’s impossible to not encounter a sea of wildflowers. All along the highways and backroads, practically every patch of grass has been taken over by orange Texas paintbrush, yellow greenthread, and beautiful bluebonnets.
Just as New Englanders like to take pictures of our kiddos at the pumpkin patch or apple picking amidst the foliage, I’ve quickly learned that many Texas families have made a tradition of taking annual bluebonnet photos of their children sitting amongst the pretty state flower.
Everyone does it, despite the stories I’ve heard of bees, rattle snakes, fire ants and who knows what else potentially lurking in the wildflower fields. And so this spring, now that we’ve been in Texas one year, we decided to brave nature (while simultaneously making a LOT of noise to hopefully scare any critters off) and make ourselves official.
Why didn’t I dress the kids in cuter, more coordinated outfits for their first official bluebonnet photo shoot?! Ah well. We are learning. When the opportunity presents itself, both kids are in a decent mood, and you happen to stumble upon a huge field of wildflowers that doesn’t look too “wild,” while simultaneously offering ample, safe off-street parking, you just go with it.
P.S. for my Texas friends, I have since learned that, despite popular belief, it is *not* illegal to pick bluebonnets. However, I had no idea at the time I suggested it to keep the kids busy, that this is frowned upon. Oops. Bad new Texans! I will start perpetuating the belief amongst my children that the cops are lurking behind the trees to arrest wildflower pickers starting… right… NOW.