Thursday, April 18, 2013

"where flowers bloom, so does hope"

by Linda

When bluebonnets bloom, it must be spring!

The state flower of Texas is the bluebonnet. It is a wildflower and it only blooms from mid March till mid April. It is familiar to many as it is a member of the lupine family (Lupinus texensis).  It is a wildflower but does require certain conditions to thrive. One of those is of course rain and with the drought this area has been in I was doubtful any bluebonnets would bloom this year.

A good year will have these beauties blooming in every field and meadow and along every highway and byway (thanks to Lady Bird Johnson).  Every field will be so lush with bluebonnets you must weave and dodge and high step your way to the perfect spot for picture taking. It is not unusual to see clusters of people taking pictures in the bluebonnets, people will pull over along the highway just to take a picture!

Lady Bird Johnson's influence and legacy are significant. While Lady Bird Johnson was first lady, she began a Capital Beautification project which was to improve the Washington DC area for residents as well as tourists by planting millions of flowers, she worked extensively with American Association of Nurserymen to protect wildflowers and encourage the planting of them along highways. She was instrumental in promoting the Highway Beautification Act, which was nicknamed "Lady Bird's Bill".  This sought to beautify the nation's highway system by limiting billboards and planting roadside areas with native plants and wildflowers. 

She turned her attention to the Austin area in the 1970's. She is responsible for the cleanup and beautification of the waterway that runs through Austin. That waterway, part of the Colorado river once called Town Lake, was renamed Lady Bird Lake just after her passing in her honor.

She understood the beauty and importance of wildflowers. They were considered weeds and not desirable in the landscape. She showed us how lovely a simple garden of native plants and wildflowers could be. Through her kindness and generosity, many roadside areas were planted with wildflower seeds. And some of those seeds were bluebonnet seeds.

Last week, after a rain, I checked my favorite wildflower field and it was still mostly bare. Farther down the road from this field and in the same park, I found a decent sized area full of bluebonnets. Oh happy day! Located next to a baseball field with 2 port-a-potties, I had to be careful what was getting in my shot besides the flowers!

I spent a happy 30 minutes crawling around on my belly, getting dirty and a little damp, but it was all worth it to me! I got some pictures of some bluebonnets!

A beautiful weed, a simple idea, an appreciation of native beauty. Thank you Lady Bird.

I hope you add your signs of spring to our flickr gallery! It's showing signs of spring!

"where flowers bloom, so does hope" ~Lady Bird Johnson

These are just a very few of the many amazing things Lady Bird Johnson accomplished in her life. I encourage you to explore the fascinating life she lived. She was a strong and remarkable woman.


Carol said...

I remember Lady Birds campaign for the flowers. We don't see many blue bonnets in the east, but as soon as I read your first few lines her name came to mind. I love that she did that.
And the mud was worth it _ your shot above is beautiful!

Barbara said...

One of these days, I'll come to Texas to see the blue bonnets. I love the legacy of Lady Bird. Lovely photos, Linda!

CarolHart said...

Lovely image. Thank you so much for sharing a bit of Lady Bird's legacy.

terriporter said...

Oh, this beautiful image was worth whatever amount of dirt and dampness you endured! Simply lovely! Right now I'm stalking the desert for cactus blooms and you can bet I sometimes get more than wet and dirty! I remember thinking how awesome it was of Lady Bird to take on the planting of wildflowers for the enjoyment of us all. Thanks for sharing this!

Dotti said...

What we don't endure for the "perfect shot". Well, Linda, you nailed it. This image is beyond beautiful, so lovely indeed. Yes, I well remember Lady Bird's beautification quest. And oh! I do want to come to Texas and see the bluebonnets for myself!

Livingsta A said...

Beautiful one. Happy Spring!

Katie said...

What a beautiful photo of your beloved bluebonnets!

I feel the same way about wild daisies, and today for the first time this spring, I spotted some along a road here in town. I need to go check "my" own daisy field to see if any have come up. Cheers to Ms. Lady Bird Johnson!

Roxi -Coppercurls Designs said...

I guess i didn't realize you were a Texan. Maybe someday our paths will cross. We just made a quick trip down as far as Brady last Saturday.

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