Category Archives: Texas Wildflower Sightings

Hill Country Wildflowers

04/09/2015

 

They’re here! And in some profusion!

One of the best areas is Muleshoe Bend Park, along the upper south shore of Lake Travis. There are acres of bluebonnets where water once was, and ought to be, if not for the drought.

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(click on photo for a larger version)

Lake Buchanan has similar coverage along its south shore, if not quite so wide a band as Muleshoe Bend, but it’s tougher to get to where you can really see the bluebonnets.

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The Vandivier House just north of Marble Falls along US 281 once again has bluebonnets.

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The Willow City Loop is pretty again, after several years of nothing much.

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And the roadsides all over have frequent color.

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My Flickr site, accessed through Links page, will show precise locations of many of my photos. Select an album, such as Wildflowers 2015, then select Map from the menu, and you will see a marker everywhere a photo has a geo-tag.

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Stockdale – Poteet Areas

03/30/2015

Yesterday we drove down through Seguin, Stockdale, Floresville to Pleasanton, where I lived from ages 7 to 13, but not much in the way of wildflowers there this year, to Poteet, then ran various backroads in the triangle marked by Poteet – Somerset – Devine before returning home much the way we’d come. In other words, a whole lot of driving and not nearly enough looking and photographing.

Recent reports have been to the effect that the Stockdale area hadn’t yet arrived, but Poteet was looking good. Good news! Stockdale was looking good, too! So my next trip down south I’ll drive back roads in the Stockdale area, which is not only an hour closer to me, but seems likely to be on the improving part of the cycle rather than the downhill. As an aside, and for what ever it is worth, the mesquite around Poteet appeared to be all leafed out anew while that between Stockdale and Seguin is only half done.

There’s a lot of color around, in that part of Texas right now.

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Pink prickly poppies, about 3.5 miles west of Floresville alongside Hwy 97 (click on any photo to see it enlarged)

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Indian paintbrush (click on photo to enlarge)

 

The map below shows our general route, with only passing indication of where we saw flowers. They were plentiful around Stockdale, and in the Poteet area. For more accurate photo locations, use “Link” to get to my Flickr site. There, select the Wildflower 2015 album, then select Map from the menu. Nearly all of the photos there are geo-tagged.

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Llano-Mason Scout

03/27/2015

It’s still early enough that the wildflowers in the general area between Llano and Mason may fill in nicely. My best guess right now, though, is that it will be only an average year for wildflowers in this area. I expect one to find beautiful areas, but only with hunting; they will not be everywhere you look.

The roadside flowers are doing nicely. I saw bluebonnets a week or two from peaking, scattered paintbrush, phlox, a few prickly poppy, and various yellow flowers – not including the ubiquitous #(*@#) cabbage, which I also saw in excess. Half of the oak trees are wearing new leaves while half are just starting. No sign of new leaves yet on pecan or mesquite. But I saw only a few patches of yellow or blue in the fields, maybe a few patches of phlox.

Nothing much yet at the old college in Pontotoc, but the remains of the rock house across the street are next to a patch of bluebonnets that are photo-worthy. Only a few bluebonnets here and there in the Union Band Cemetery a few miles further west of Pontotoc along TX 71.

One bright spot was Art Hedwig Hill Rd east of Mason, connecting TX 29 to US 87. This is a dirt road, fairly smooth and looks to have been graded recently, but possibly treacherous if wet. It’s entirely possible that the Mason highway department has seeded alongside this road, but if so, the bluebonnets have spread nicely away from it, along with prickly poppy. I won’t say this area is worth a special trip, but if you’re in the area anyway, it’s worth the detour.

RR 152 from Castell into Llano looks promising, too.

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(click on photo to see it larger)

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Scout to Lake Buchanan area

03/16/2015

Susan and I drove through Burnet to RR 2341, which goes up along the east shore of Lake Buchanan. We’ve seen pretty flowers here in the past, so always include it when we’re looking. Two caveats: this early in the year there are no flower patches, so we can’t tell what’s going on except what we can find near the road, and we do not recognize any young wildflowers except bluebonnets.

We found bluebonnets growing well along the roadside. And it looks like the north entrance to Wolf Creek Ranch (Estates? – a subdivision out in the country) will return to the glory it lost several years ago. We found a lot of bluebonnets along the road here, and just inside the gate. Heading back towards TX 29, we turned off on CR 114, that eventually becomes FM 690 and shows on some maps and gps units as FM 690 – but the road sign says CR 114 – finding a lot of bluebonnets along the road for the first stretch, maybe a mile. Further on, crossing a bridge over dry land that used to be under several feet of water, we saw promising green patches in the distance across a broad stretch that was lake up until maybe five or six years ago, but which has had large patches of bluebonnets since. A neighborhood street, N. Chaparral, allows you to drive in off of the main road for a better look.

We saw many roadside bluebonnets along Park Rd 4, along the east side of Inks Lake. There was one place along the abandoned railroad next to CR 120, north of FM 1431 between Kingsland and Marble Falls, where we saw many bluebonnets. But we were disappointed in the few bluebonnets we saw growing at the other railroad crossing along CR 120, where they have been so pretty in the past.

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Bluebonnets on their way…

02/26/2015

This is mostly a “place holder” for things to come, as it’s still a tad early for wildflowers in the Hill Country and nearby areas (such as Georgetown). But it is looking good! But I’ve been optimistic before, such as last year when our yard looked terrific and the Hill Country wound up sort of blah.

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Our bluebonnet patch now, in late winter, vs what we had last spring. (click on photo to zoom)

We have the largest, densest patch of bluebonnets we’ve seen since we first planted some bluebonnets four years ago. But so far, no blossoms. I’m expecting an even prettier display than last year’s, though, on the right of the above photo. Oh, and those darker green patches that look a little like clover, on the left, those are all bluebonnets, stretching back even through the neighbor’s wrought iron fence.

Rainfall maps indicate that the Willow City Loop got good rain last fall, and into the winter, and about a month ago Susan and I drove the loop, stopping at my favorite low water crossing, where I found a lot of bluebonnet rosettes. They were still small, but there were bunches of them, so maybe the Willow City Loop will be back this year, after several years of nothing-much.

Here’s a map of the entire area, showing places in the past where we’ve seen good flowers. (The locations are only approximate, to give you an idea of likely areas. When I am able to report “live” sightings I’ll try to be more precise.)

 

(For driving directions, if you’re trying to get to a marker location, click on the marker, copy the gps coordinates, then paste them in the “To” field.)

 

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