It’s a wonderful time in Austin. The wildflowers are in bloom!
Texas is famous for its wildflowers, which can be seen in front yards, empty meadows, and along roadsides. I’m lucky enough to have more than a dozen kinds blooming within steps of my office. Every year, a few knowledgable volunteers lead a guided walk during the lunch hour to point out the different kinds of flowers near our building. I’m happy they do because I usually notice about twice as many types of flowers as I would on my own.
This year we saw about 6 or 8 distinct kinds, with several more varieties expected to come into bloom over the next few weeks. I’ve included pictures here of mostly Bluebonnets, Indian Blanket, and Engelmann’s Daisies.
The most famous around these parts is, of course, the Texas Bluebonnet. They’re in full force right now, turning the soccer fields at work into a sea of blue.
There are hundreds of different kinds of wildflowers blooming all over Texas this time of year. The existence of the wildflowers is supported by an enthusiastic public and also the Texas Department of Transportation. TXDOT maintains a Wildflower Program, which includes reseeding annually and minimizing mowing during the wildflower season.
Lady Bird Johnson, wife of the U.S. President Lyndon Baines Johnson, is now commonly associated with wildflowers. Though the TXDOT program predates Lady Bird’s involvement, she developed a love of wildflowers during her childhood in East Texas and in her later years established the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, promoting conservation of Texas’s native plants.
If you happen to be in Texas, here’s a useful website for identifying wildflowers by color and picture. The LBJ Wildflower Center website is also a great resource or, if you’re in the Austin area, it’s a nice place to stop. (In fact, the Center is open all year round. In December they have festive events and a nice luminaria display that I recommend.)
Happy spring! (And sorry if you’re getting snow this week…)