What to Expect When You’re Expecting Bluebonnets!
The 2020 Texas Wildflower Show has begun. The usual time period for the spring show is March to May.
MyCanyonLake.com reached out to Texas Wildflower Report on Facebook on Wednesday to see whether there are any local updates on bluebonnets and other native flowers in the Canyon Lake area.
Here’s their reply:
“I am getting reports of routes that are looking good with early blooms and then a report in the same area with very poor showing. I drove 1604 from I-10 to Braun Road and saw no blooms except bastard cabbage and lots of grass.
“Someone else drove FM 1604 the other direction and saw patches of blooms.
“The research I did indicates there are going to be some spots with a good chance of nice displays and other spots with much less. And then there is the issue of a warmer than normal winter, but a recent cooling…
“So there are early blooms here and there and other locations not yet in bloom in the same area. I saw several photos this morning of bluebonnets in a location in Bexar County, small blooms, but lots of grass mixed in taller than the plants. A warmer winter is going to favor the grass.
“I just spoke with a friend who saw early blooms along 306 and Purgatory Road in Comal County, but grass is getting tall.”
Here’s the latest from Texas Highways magazine: https://texashighways.com/travel-news/warm-winter-brings-early-wildflower-bloom-to-texas-this-spring/?fbclid=IwAR3upbtvT7cuiixEiFu1vJwLAL5UQA2J_zPfrBHRLamaNwvITPjDEQPgLYE
Here are links to information that could be helpful in planning a trip to enjoy this year’s bloom, courtesy of the Texas Wildflower Report:
Bloom Times and Season Updates
- 2020 Texas Spring Wildflower Outlook – https://www.facebook.com/…/a.101503849471…/10159762862004062
- 2020 Spring Wildflower Outlook: Winter Rainfall, a Quick Update –https://www.facebook.com/TexasWildflowerReport/posts/10159836692374062
- When to Come to See Texas Wildflowers – http://www.wildflowerhaven.com/Articles/Texas-Bloom-Times
- Early Blooms: What Does That Mean for Spring 2020?” – https://www.facebook.com/…/a.101503849471…/10159842795229062
- Recipe for an Awesome Wildflower Season –
Current Sightings and Reports
- Texas Wildflower Report: Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/TexasWildflowerReport/\
- World Wildflower Reports – https://www.facebook.com/WorldWildflowerReport/
- Brenham Wildflower Watch – http://www.visitbrenhamtexas.com
- Ennis Bluebonnet Trails – https://www.visitennis.org/bluebonnet.htm
Routes and Route Maps
- Best online resource I use is Gary Regner’s Wildflower Color Index at: http://www.texaswildflowerpictures.com/wf_index.htm
- Texas Flora Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/texasflora (If you want to know more about native plants then this is the group to join. Must join to post – lots of good experts in this group to help with ID.)
- Texas Wildflowers Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/92643952383
(Usually lots of photos with dates and locations. Closed Group, but easy to join)
- Texas Plants and Invertebrates: https://www.facebook.com/groups/TXPlantsInvertebrates
- “Wildflowers of Texas” by Geyata Ajilvsgi
- “Wildflowers of the Texas Hill Country” by Marshall Enquist
- “Wildflowers of Texas” by Michael Eason (new book released in April, 2018. I have the eBook version on my tablet for field use.)
- Wildflower Photography
Wildflower Native Status
To be sure of the native status of a wildflower in Texas and/or the USA, you can use the following resources:
- Native Plant Information Network: https://www.wildflower.org/plants/
- USDA Plants Database: https://plants.usda.gov
- Texas Flora Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/texasflora
To check if a plant is invasive to a region just do a search and include the word “invasive.” For example, “crimson clover invasive” will yield several articles about how this plant can be invasive.
For plants officially designated invasive in Texas visit: https://www.texasinvasives.org/invasives_database/
Safety, Texas Law and Wildflowers
- Texas Department of Public Safety: “Safety Tips for Wildflower Fans” and “Can you Pick the Bluebonnets?” – http://www.dps.texas.gov/…/media_and_comm…/2014/pr040414.htm
- County Laws: Some counties in Texas do not permit stopping along some roads, especially Ranch and Farm to Market roads. If you do stop pick a spot that does not have wildflowers blooming and where you can safely exit and re-enter the road. You must be able to park parallel to the traffic and on the unimproved part of the roadway.
- Willow City Loop: The property owners do not want people to stop on or off the road along Willow City Loop! You can slow down and take photos from your vehicle. During the peak of the season, sometimes the County Sheriff’s department will have patrols issuing warnings and tickets for trespassing.
- Private Property: No fence does not mean you have right to enter private property! You must get permission from property owners to enter private property. Failure to get permission to enter private property could result in a ticket along with a fine and jail time.
- Oh! Deer and Kids! Drive safely and keep an eye out for the kids and the deer crossing the road. Every year someone gets into an accident while viewing our Texas Wildflowers. I have witnessed parents not watching kids as the kids get closer and closer to a road while the parents are busy photographing wildflowers. Don’t die trying to view or photograph our Texas wildflowers.
- Take Photos, Not Wildflowers: Please leave the wildflowers where you found them so they can go to seed and we can have more next season! Although there is no law that says you cannot pick the wildflowers including bluebonnets, each bloom that is pick is just less seed for future seasons. We are losing land each year to land development, please help keep our remaining wildflowers by leaving them to reseed.
- You can purchase bluebonnet plants to take home with you from local nurseries that support native plants, Wildseed Farms (https://www.wildseedfarms.com) and sometimes H.E.B. stores. Best source for truly native plant seeds and roots is Native American Seed Company – www.seedsource.com.
- You can even rent a cabin – http://www.seedsource.com/ecotourism/index.asp
- Snakes Alive and Ants on Fire! Be careful entering any area with high grass or thick vegetation. Even in short grass, I use a long hiking stick to beat and poke the ground ahead of me to let the snakes know I am coming. Most critters prefer not to have contact with us humans and will exit as soon as they can, but corner a critter and it can become aggressive. Any mound of dirt could be a fire ant mound – stay clear of them! And then there are the ticks, chiggers and spiders!
- Turn Around and Don’t Drown: Spring in Texas often brings sudden and very dangerous storm systems that can dump lots of rain in a very short period of time. This then leads to widespread flash flooding along the many streams, rivers and drainage areas. Even roads high along the sides of hills can be flooded. If you approach a road or crossing with water rushing across it, turn around don’t drown! The law says if the road is barricaded then you must turn around. If you go around the barrier, you can get fined and jailed. Texas Transportation Code Sec. 472.022.D.2, “if a person commits an offense under Subsection (a) where a warning sign or barricade has been placed because water is over any portion of a road, street, or highway, the offense is a Class B misdemeanor.” https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/TN/htm/TN.472.htm