In the years since first moving out of Texas for university, I didn’t come back to visit in the height of spring. My visits were either too early or too late. And it is unfortunate that I must admit to having forgotten how beautiful spring in this state can be. Despite popular opinion, I’m relearning, Texas has seasons. Albeit they might be short (or too long), but they’re there. My springs in Washington, DC were of course marked by the arrival of the delicate pink cherry blossoms, but Texas has its own watch for the bluebonnets.
The official state flower of Texas, bluebonnets inspire a lot of love and their own avid following. And for me, there definitely was a small, but growing sense of pleasure early this spring as I drove past fields with patches of bluebonnets springing up on my daily commute. Every day I most looked forward to seeing a beautiful spread at the side of a small pond with the sunlight glinting across the waves and petals. Even more so, I looked forward to driving through the Official Texas Bluebonnet Trail.
Spring is a tricky time of year. All the rain is wonderful for soaking the earth and allowing such vibrant, beautiful wildflowers to grow. But then at the same time, those colors look stunning in the sunlight. Not to mention it’s much more fun to be out under the sun than to huddle under an umbrella to look at flowers under a darkened sky. The Saturday we drove through Ennis for the trails and the festival was sunny and warm, with clouds rolling in late that afternoon. And much of Sunday was spent inside avoiding the thunderstorm. Thank you to the weather gods for allowing me that window!
Driving about forty-five minutes outside of Dallas and I am reminded – again – of just how beautiful Texas can be. The small hills and fields were green from the rain, and as we got off the highway onto the farm-to-market roads for the bluebonnets, the land fenced off large swathes of property with cattle and horses grazing, and even sheep! And with those beautiful blue skies and sunshine, it made for a beautiful afternoon taking pictures and just being outside.
The southern trail seemed a little shorter, but there were less people on it. The northern trail did have more photo opportunities with more animals. When we went to Ennis, the map didn’t yet have the western trail, which may have meant the bluebonnets hadn’t yet appeared as fully. Though this year’s trails are almost closed (April 30), if you have the time next year, I would suggest making a day out of it. The trails don’t take too long to drive, even with stopping for pictures or just to view the landscape. That way you know you won’t miss that one, beautiful field you were hoping to find.