I ’ve had the opportunity to travel up
Hwy. 16 and out on FM476 over the last few days and if you haven’t been out on the back roads lately, then hop in your car and take a drive. Why? Because the wildflowers this year are simply gorgeous!
My daughter and I were heading up to San Antonio to catch the play “Wicked” (another must if you have not seen it) and the views were just … stunning.
The bluebonnets looked like lakes. The blue was just so … well … BLUE. The Indian paintbrushes, phlox and even the spindly goldenrods and white poppies were beautiful.
You can say what you want about the major highway type bluebonnets, but there is no comparison with the wild bright blue members of the Lupin family that can be seen on rural highways, Farm to Market and back roads. Haven’t you noticed that those interstate highway flowers have a lot of white tips on them? Pretty? Yes. As pretty? No.
The Texas Department of Transportation website, http:// www.txdot.gov/inside-txdot/division/ maintenance/wildflowerprogram. html, has lots of information and fun facts on the Wildflower Program in Texas. Something that I found out were that there are more than 5,000 species of wildflowers in Texas and 20 percent of them are of the sunflower family. I also found out that TxDOT maintains over 800,000 acres of right-of-way. That is a lot of mowing, seeding and maintenance all for us to enjoy.
Also, while we all may think that it is illegal to pick bluebonnets , it is not. There is a law against damaging or destroying rights-of-way and government property though. Trampling, digging up huge amounts and driving on them may find you getting a ticket. You also don’t want to impede traffic while viewing or stopping to take photos of them. Another bit of information to remember – spring is the time where snakes are getting active, so be careful walking in the blooms as well as scoping out fire ant beds.¬¬¬¬
The way I see it, gas up your vehicle, set out on the open road and bring your camera or your smart phone. Then, send them to our webmaster, Jessica Machado at email@example.com, and she will add them to our Facebook wall.
SUE BROWN is the editor of the Pleasanton Express. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or write at P.O. Drawer 880, Pleasanton, TX 78064.