March 30, 2011

I've been asked to post some pics on here of the bluebonnets I've seen lately. Here you go little sister, out there in Washington State, this is just for your.

If you have pics of bluebonnets you've taken this year, send them to me and I'll post them on my site. Just let me know when and where they were take and who took them.

This is just outside the City of Midlothian, Texas, where I work. It's a "feeder" road that ties into U.S. Highway 67 South, out of Midlothian, headed toward Venus, Alvarado and Cleburne. What a beautiful site they are. I'll try to find other spots to share here with my friends...

March 29, 2011

It's that time!

What a glorious time to be alive in Texas! There isn’t a single season that touches my soul quite like Spring in Texas. It’s a time of renewing energy and the promise of warmer days ahead and the season just seems to make you feel younger. It’s the wind and thunderstorms, vivid greens, browns, blues and yellows, all offered as a visual picnic for your eyes to devour before summer arrives and the blazing heat dries up all evidence of that beauty.

I’m a fortunate man. I have had the opportunity to visit 25 – 30 of our wonderful 50 states while traveling and serving with the United States Navy. In each of those states there are vivid pictures of beauty I can recall and will always remember. These cool mornings and warm afternoons and evenings bring to mind my years in Camarillo, California where the average temperature range was clear and 58 – 84, every day, every night and all year long. There were, of course, the exceptions to that pattern but by and far that was the weather I experienced for four years. And it’s here in Texas, right now, even if it is for a fleeting period of 3 – 5 weeks.

I’ve stood at the peak of Diamondhead in Honolulu, Hawaii and witnessed the water breaking from above and the incredible forests and foliage, unlike anywhere else on earth. I’ve been to the Everglades in Florida and gazed over lily pads the size of a breakfast table lying in the shadows of the the mighty Cypress trees. I have explored the swamps of Louisiana where Spanish Moss hangs dramatically from the century old Live Oak Trees. And I’ve visited Central Park in New York, an ocean of green in the midst of a universe of gray concrete and glistening glass buildings.

In Arizona I’ve stood by the statuesque “saguaro” cactus in the Organ Pipe National Monument. You really tend to feel “small” standing next to them. I’ve hiked through a California mountain canyon with the red poppies ablaze where the color and expanse of that display is beyond belief. But none and I mean none of those magnificent blessings from God can compare to spring time in Texas.

As I have been driving to work the last few weeks, I’ve noticed the landscape beginning to yawn and slowly wake up. At first it was the little yellow flowers that always seem to show their faces before anything else. And then the Texas Thistles started to sprout and offer their plumes for all to see. But then, it happened. All around me, the first hints of deep lilac and blue started to emerge. It was only a few places at first, but as the week progressed I began to notice more and more that the sparse showings dotting the landscape began to spread into the familiar hues of deep, ocean blue on each side of the highway, fields and medians. The annual Texas Spring miracle had begun. They finally arrived! The bluebonnets have returned!

I can’t think of a single event that defines an experience as much as the annual Bluebonnet bloom in Texas. It’s more than just flowers blooming. The Bluebonnet bloom celebration is almost an exclusive event wholly held in Texas. Even though other states have the “Lupine”, they don’t quite have the color, tone, brilliance, magnificence or celebration of pride that is displayed in Texas each year. No other state celebrates the Bluebonnet as we Texans do. It’s an event, a time-honored tradition of getting the kids dressed up and getting those annual pictures snapped and put away for the coming generations to ogle over and to brag about.

So get the camera out, the kids all spruced up, pack the car and head out to find that perfect Bluebonnet Patch on a roadside near you because this event is a “limited time offer” and won’t be around much longer my friends.

Happy Spring, enjoy the Bluebonnets and God bless Texas!

The Impulsive Texan

March 15, 2011

Spring is here amigos...

With spring coming fast, the days are turning warmer and foliage is starting show their spring greenery, we anxiously await the arrival of the bluebonnet. Everyone knows I'm a tried and true Texan and there aren't many things more dear to me than spring and bluebonnets in Texas.

While researching a story for the blog, I came across an interesting story about the rarest of rare bluebonnets, the Pink Bluebonnet.

Read and enjoy the story of this wonderful specimen.

                                  The Legend of the Pink Bluebonnet

The two children scampered through the April field of wildflowers near San Antonio, on their way to the old mission church to pay their Lenten devotion. They were followed by their slower grandmother, dressed in rusty black. She was painfully thin and her face was seamed with many fine lines.
"Mamacita! Here is a white flower with all the blue ones!", the excited girl cried."Those are bluebonnets," her grandmother explained, "and sometimes, very seldom, there is a white one among them. Some even say that the Lone Star of the Texas flag was fashioned after a spot of white bluebonnets amongst a field of blue."

The little boy stood still and gestured to the bloom at his feet, "But what about this pink one then?" The small group studied the pure pink bluebonnet a moment before the grandmother turned to the children and spoke.
"If the white ones are special, then the pink ones mean even more." She paused, "When I myself was a little girl, my grandmother told me a special story about these rare flowers. They seem to only grow downstream from the mission Alamo, and that is because of something which happened here many years ago."

"It was when Texas was not part of the United States, but only a remote province of Mexico. The Americanos and other foreigners had not been settled here for long, but trade was busy, and we all had hopes of a golden future for our country.

Our family owned a fine house and farm near the old cathedral. My Papa would rise early, take his tools, and work the land before the day grew too hot. Then after the noon siesta, everyone would begin to wake in the cool of the dusk. The adults would bath in the clear river, while we children splashed in the shallows. Everyone would dance, eat, and visit until late into the evening. Sometimes there were Americanos who came to celebrate with us, but their talk always turned to politics. The men were angered because the Constitution had been overthrown by a terrible Mexican dictator.

The men all went about with frowns, and the women began to be afraid. Then came that bitter spring when we learned that the dictator was on his way to our city with many troops. Papa was torn between joining the Americanos to fortify the old mission compound, and fear for his family.

He decided to hide us in the countryside, and every time I look at the ruins of the mission chapel, I remember the fear we lived in during that time. Day and night we heard the cannons and the rifles firing in the distance. The brave new Texans fought long and hard, but in the end were overwhelmed by the Mexican troops.

After the shots had finally ended, we crept silently home in the darkness. Mama and Papa were thankful that our lives had been spared, but it broke their hearts to learn of the many who had lost their lives in that terrible battle. Mama often cried when she passed the homes where friends had fallen.

One day several years later, I found her putting a pink wildflower in a vase beside the statue of the Virgin. She told me she had found it near the river where it had once been white, but so much blood had been shed, it had taken the tint of it."

The grandmother paused, "That is why you will only find the pink ones near the river, within sight of the old mission," she said. "So remember, the next time you see a pink bluebonnet, it's not only a pretty flower, but a symbol for the struggle to survive and a memory of those who died so that Texas could be free."

NOTE: Interestingly enough, according to Dr. Jerry Parsons, the only place in the state where the original wild pink bluebonnets were found was along side the road, just south of downtown San Antonio.