Saturday, March 31, 2007

Spring Deep in the Heart of

When I think of Bluebonnets I think of Texas, we rule. There is an unspoken ritual some of us indulge in here, deep in the heart of. It is the shooting of bluebonnets. I mean with a camera. The quintessential bluebonnet portrait is as Texas as well let me think, big hair. Bluebonnets bloom in April. This year they arrived a tad early; today to be exact… much to my surprise and delight. The blue sky after our tornado weather that we in Texas are know for also, lured me out of the house with my camera. I took off to look for wildflowers. Pulling over and parking my car next to Plano’s Bluebonnet Trail. I joined my fellow Texans in the ritual. It is community thing. We talked of years gone by as we shoot away. I asked some fellow bluebonnets aficionados if I could take their group picture for this story. It is their third year of bluebonnet portraits. I understand. We all agreed we would be back again next week to see if the Indian Paint Brush would be ready to bloom. That adds a whole other dimension to the experience. You won’t want to miss it.

When I came to Texas I read numerous articles complaining about this ritual. “People trampled the flower in order to get pictures!” those stories stated. I lived in fear for years and never entertained the idea of getting a close look, much less walking in them. But let me ask you, “have you ever walked in a meadow?” It is easy to step around the flowers. All good bluebonnets aficionados in Texas do.

Bluebonnets are the official Texas state flower. I say bluebonnets because there are five species of bluebonnets that are the official state flower. This was due to the Bluebonnet War of 1901. The Texas Legislature inadvertently chose the Lupinus subcarnosus to be the state flower to the dismay of the Lupinus texensis supporters who want this sturdier species of deeper color to represent the state. It took until 1971 for the problem to be resolved. Not daring to start another Bluebonnet War they chose every known species of bluebonnets for the state flower. They are as followed: Lupinus subcarnosus, Lupinus texensis, Lupinus Havardii, Lupinus concinnus and Lupinus plattensis.

Just goes to show that you learn something new everyday. And to the relief of my conscious I learned: IT IS NOT ILLEGAL to pick bluebonnets in Texas. It is not illegal to pick wildflowers in Texas. That is an urban legend probably propagated by parents who told us to eat our vegetables because there were starving kids in China.

by Ruth Eshbaugh
Good News Now

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