The bluebonnet has been the state flower of Texas since 1901. In 1934, the Texas Department of Transportation adopted the rule that highway rights-of-way not be mowed during the flowering season for wildflowers, including the bluebonnet. As years passed, with the support of Lady Bird Johnson, certain areas along Texas highways were seeded with Texas wildflowers. A springtime tradition was born.

Today, you can find tourists cheating death on a daily basis from March to May, stopping their cars on crowded roadways and trying to capture the elusive perfect bluebonnet photograph. It is quite amazing to see people of apparently normal intelligence risking their lives in this way.

Each Easter in Texas, families dress up their children and go in search of the best fields of bluebonnets to take family photos. And, of course, to trample the beautiful flowers.

If you have never seen the wildflowers in spring it truly is worth a trip. Each year the highway department puts out a pamphlet of where the best wildflower viewing is to be found. Not just bluebonnets, but Indian paintbrushes in beautiful red, yellow coreopsis (also called tickseed — they look like a black-eyed Susan except the middle is closer to purple), and the fabulous Indian blankets (also called firewheel) grow all over the state during the spring. It can be a steadily changing color palate as the varying wildflowers bloom at slightly different times in the spring, and it is breathtaking.

All of that is background information. I have complained (in a good-natured fashion) for many years about people creating a road hazard by pulling to an abrupt stop to walk in the flowers, to take pictures of the flowers, their children sitting in the flowers, their dogs peeing in the flowers, whatever.

Now that we live in central Texas where the wildflowers are the most prolific, my wife has been sending pictures to me of my dog in the bluebonnets. I get tickled each time I receive one of the text messages with the pictures, but it is very hard to explain to someone without sounding like a grumpy old man. Peggy knows my schedule and waits to send the pictures when she is fairly certain I am in some serious meeting. I find it delightful.

And my dog really does look wonderful in the bluebonnets. Don’t you agree?

The girl don’t look too bad, either…

Allie is clearly impressed with the natural beauty around her
Now she’s just ready to go home


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