Bluebonnets and Texas Wildflowers in the Spring, Plus Lady Bird Johnson's Legacy of Highway Beautification
Bluebonnets and Wildflowers
We love to take a drive out into the countryside in the Spring of each year when the bluebonnets and other wildflowers are reputed to be at their peak in Texas to take some pictures. Many people have the same idea. When the cars start stacking up on the sides of the roads one can pretty well rest assured that a beautiful sight lies ahead.
With cameras in hand, the cars are vacated and people wander into the fields to see and record that year's bounty of bluebonnets and other wildflowers of every hue and description.
Many photos are taken particularly with the vast fields of bluebonnets in bloom. Children and adults like to pose with those iconic wildflowers. We have seen people taking pictures of their pets amidst the bluebonnets as well.
- Did you know that the bluebonnet is the official state flower of Texas? It was designated as such as far back as 1901.
- Bluebonnets are not all blue in color despite the name.
Depending upon the weather bluebonnets can bloom anywhere between March to May. Local radio and television stations keep people updated each year as to when they are in their prime.
Long before we moved to Texas, we heard accounts from my grandparents who vacationed in Texas during the long Wisconsin winter months about the splendor of the bluebonnets and other beautiful wildflowers in the Lone Star State.
Other Colors of BluebonnetsClick thumbnail to view full-size
It is truly amazing to personally see bluebonnets adding seasonal color to a wide variety of landscapes. They are considered to be a hardy winter annual. If left to go to seed as is common along highways where the ground is mostly undisturbed, they can reappear year after year.
If people wish to have them growing in their own yards they must not mow the grass until this natural reseeding takes place.
Bluebonnets plus other Texas Wildflowers
Wildflowers and Lady Bird Johnson
When President Lyndon Johnson was in office—from 1963 to 1969—his wife "Lady Bird" made beautification and the seeding of wildflowers one of her prime points of focus.
Shrubs and trees were planted. Wildflower seeds were sown—not only in Texas—but all across America. She deeply cared about the environment. Partly due to her efforts, the Highway Beautification Act was passed in 1965. Now many of the highways all across our nation are blessed with the natural beauty of wildflowers.
National Wildflower Research Center
In 1982 Lady Bird Johnson along with Helen Hayes founded the National Wildflower Research Center. She personally donated 60 acres of land plus over $100,000 to further these efforts. On Lady Bird's birthday in 1998 it was renamed in her honor.
The Lady Bird Wildflower Center continues the research and work of environmentally making our land beautiful and sustainable for future generations of people.
The roads today are splashed with an array of colorful seasonal flowers and can be enjoyed year after year as most all of the wildflowers are self-seeding and therefore generate the next year's crop of eye-catching beauties.
Lady Bird Johnson Home Movie #1: Spring-Fall 1940. Narrated by her showing Washington & other landmarks, plus her interest in nature.
"We are obligated to leave the country looking as good if not better than we found it." Lady Bird Johnson:
Some of the Texas Wildflowers Photographed Last AprilClick thumbnail to view full-size
Enjoy Your Area Wildflowers!
Springtime generally offers a spectacular show of blooming wildflowers in most areas of the country. We can thank Lady Bird Johnson for the heightened awareness and implementation of this beautification project and its impact on the environment. She has left behind a beautiful legacy and we can feast all of our senses because of her efforts on behalf of all Americans.
Hope you enjoyed my pictures. Now get out there and photograph some flowers of your own!
If you happen to be living or visiting in Texas I will show a map of where we enjoy seeing the wildflowers every Spring. Other areas of Texas have them as well. These are sites not far from where we live in Houston.
Locations where we find vast fields of wildflowers each Spring.
Fields of Texas wildflowersClick thumbnail to view full-size
Do you enjoy taking pictures of your area's wildflowers?
Be forewarned...if you start watching this video, you won't want it to ever end!
© 2009 Peggy Woods