This past Friday, I took my high school one-act play students to Bandera, TX. On the way there, we saw bluebonnets in bloom between Llano and Fredericksburg. I thought that those blooms were way ahead of our personal bluebonnets, but no, not at all. Saturday afternoon, we drove around the Mountain Pasture, and there they were, just beginning to peak their little blue bonnets out of the green plants. Above and below are photos of the first ones of the year here at our place in Central Texas. We welcome you, bluebonnets and spring!
The bluebonnet is the state flower of Texas. The blossoms resemble the bonnets of pioneer women. We have an abundance of the plants here at the Mountain Pasture. Summer before last, a friend gathered some seeds from our prolific plants. She planted them. They haven’t come up. She is distressed.
I was reading about bluebonnets today, and the success rate in planting seeds is 60%, and sometimes they don’t produce blooms for two years if they do come up. The plants are survivors, and they are very careful about protecting themselves. It is best to plant the seeds in the fall in soil that has good drainage. Some recommend that a person scar the seeds before planting them and barely cover them with soil. There are many recommendations on the Internet for planting bluebonnet seeds.
Sheep and goats eat bluebonnet plants as quickly as they poke their heads out, but cattle don’t care for the plants. I think we’ll have a fairly good crop this year. Below are some photos of the current state of the plants at the Mountain Pasture. Can’t wait to see them in bloom!
Texas climatologists have determined that Texas suffered the worst one-year drought since 1895 this past year. Streams were running well below normal and reservoirs were at fifty percent. The land at the Mountain Pasture certainly suffered this past year. As my husband and I hiked through the pasture last weekend, we couldn’t believe the dead trees that we came upon. Trees that had been here for many years are now decaying. We were saddened to see the results of the drought, but were overjoyed to see that the rains of this month of February have put water back in our tanks/ponds and brought the bluebonnets to life and given the countryside as well as its people hope for the future.
Results of the Texas drought of 2011 at the mountain pasture pictured below:
…and then there are always the survivors:
bluebonnets, tank water, and water running into the dry creek bed!!!!