March29, 2016 Fredericksburg, Texas

Roadside Flowers
Roadside Flowers

Texas Wildflowers, the Search Continues

Roadside Flowers
Roadside Flowers

 

The weather has not been terribly cooperative for shooting lately. The ideal time to shoot the colorful roadsides would be in the early morning hours, but most every morning lately, it is foggy or totally overcast, and while that sometimes works for closeups of these flowers, the white skies certainly don’t do anything for shooting the distant fields of color, not that I have yet found any of those. The white skies sometimes have burned off by midday, but then that is never a great time to shoot anything because of the harsh, bright light.

Early Morning Field of Bluebonnets
Early Morning Field of Bluebonnets
Early Morning Field of Bluebonnets
Early Morning Field of Bluebonnets

This pasture of bluebonnets is one of the few places I have found anything other than roadside color.

Texas Wildflowers
Texas Wildflowers

Here and there, the flowers are beginning to creep out into the field surrounding the road right=of-ways, but there really is very little color in any of the fields I have passed thus far.

Texas Wildflowers
Texas Wildflowers
Texas Wildflowers
Texas Wildflowers
Texas Wildflowers
Texas Wildflowers

The variety of flowers along the road is sometimes stunning. though I am being told that this year is not a great year for color, at least not this far. I was thinking about continuing on my journey towards New Mexico since today is my day to leave the Lady Bird Johnson Municipal Park here in Fredericksburg, but, maybe I will stick around a couple more days and just move up to Llano to be a little closer to where I have found some better color.

Field of Yellow Wildflowers
Field of Yellow
Field of Yellow Wildflowers
Field of Yellow
Texas Wildflowers
Texas Wildflowers
Roadside Bluebonnets
Roadside Bluebonnets
Texas Wildflowers
Texas Wildflowers
Texas Wildflowers
Texas Wildflowers
Texas Wildflowers
Texas Wildflowers

Below you will find a gallery of the shots above. By clicking on any of the thumbnails in the gallery, you will see a larger, sharper version of that image. The larger images can also be viewed as a slideshow.

 

 

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March 25, 2016 Fredericksburg, Texas

Stopping for Roadside Color Texas Wildflowers
Stopping for Roadside Color

On the Trail of Texas Wildflowers

Roadside Bluebonnets
Roadside Bluebonnets

After three days driving the roads around Fredericksburg, I am starting to have a little luck finding wildflowers, almost all of which are confined to the roadside, that is, within the road right-of-way, almost never spilling out into the fields bordering the roads.

Texas Wildflowers
Texas Wildflowers

According to reports found online, that may be simply because it still is actually a little early for peak blooms, that apparently occur in the middle of April. But to me, it looks like at least some roadside areas must be as dense as they can possibly get, if not, then peak must really be something to see.

Texas Wildflowers
Texas Wildflowers
Phlox and Bluebonnets
Phlox and Bluebonnets

I an doing this post on the Saturday before Easter and have been advised by the locals to not even think about venturing out on the roads this weekend looking for flowers because of the traffic. The last three days, at least on the back roads, traffic has not been an issue. Finding a place to pull off the road and get out has been a very large issue. There are no shoulders on the back roads and the bluebonnets grow right up to the paved surface of the road, meaning you would have to be a thoughtless idiot to pull off and mow them down … and, of course, judging from the number of tire ruts through the flowers, there is no shortage of idiots out looking at flowers.

Texas Wildflowers
Texas Wildflowers
Texas Wildflowers
Texas Wildflowers

On some of the heavier travelled and more colorful back roads, there are signs prohibiting parking along all the areas with the best color.

Texas Wildflowers
Texas Wildflowers

Still, I have been able to find some spots where I can safely park off the road and walk back to areas to shoot, such as all the shots above.

Texas Longhorn
Texas Longhorn

Wandering the back roads, I also have run into several of these guys, and these two were very cooperative photo subjects.

Texas Longhorns
Texas Longhorns
Texas Longhorns
Texas Longhorns
Texas Longhorns
Texas Longhorns

Pretty impressive horns! Amazing that they dare stand so close to one another.

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March 23, 2016 Fredericksburg, Texas

Hill Country Roadside Wildflowers
Hill Country Roadside Wildflowers

Texas Hill Country, Looking for Wildflowers

Monday afternoon, after almost a five month stay, I hooked up the tow dolly, loaded the Prius and said goodbye to the Salineno Birding Area. Only moved about six miles, to the county park, free camping area in Falcon Heights, so that I could get some decent strength internet signal and plan my next move north.

Tuesday morning I left the county park, headed back out to Route 83 and turned north to Zapata, where I picked up Route 16 North, then Route 173 North to Kerrville. Both 16 and 173 were good wide 2 lane roads with little traffic and only a few small towns to drive through, much better than doing the interstate, although there was little in the way of scenery along the way. Lots of Caracaras and I did see a couple exotic antelope behind the fences running along the road.

In Kerrville I took Rte.16 E ( or N ) towards Fredericksburg and turned left on Fair Lane to look for the Gillespie County Fairground camping area. All I found was what looked like campsites that were in the process of being worked on, no signs, no place to stay so I backtracked south a mile to the Lady Bird Johnson Municipal Park and signed in for a week at $210. Lucky they were able to squeeze me in because the place is all but full. Got Sites 47 & 48, a pull through with full hookups and nice lawn between sites. Easy satellite on this site and 5 bars of 4G although the parks Wifi also works for most things.

Hill Country Farmscape
Hill Country Farmscape

This morning, I decided to do an exploratory loop around Fredericksburg to see where I might find some wildflowers. I headed south and east down towards Blanco State Park and ran into this nice little springtime  farm scene just outside Fredericksburg.

Hill Country Farmscape
Hill Country Farmscape
Hill Country Relics
Hill Country Relics

Blanco State Park is a small park along the river, probably quite popular for swimming during the heat of the Texas summer. The campground is not terribly friendly for big rigs, consisting of mostly shortish backins under a canopy of trees, so I crossed this one off my list of potential places to stay.

I next headed north towards Johnson City and then east to check out Pedernales Falls State Park. Be aware, there is extensive road construction on the drive into the state park, with long delays waiting for the pilot car to lead you through. The park would be a great get away from it all spot, but again, the sites are mostly short back in sites, and most of them are quite unlevel, not terribly big rig friendly at all. Again, probably a great park for swimming in the Texas summer, but not one I will be using to explore the region.

On this swing south and east of Fredericksburg, I did see some small clumps of roadside wildflowers in bloom, but absolutely nothing to get excited about. As I returned to Route 281 and headed farther north toward Marble Falls, I did finally start to see some of the roadside color I had come here for. From Marble Falls I headed back west and north on FM 1431 and then Route 29 to Llano and Route 29 had some very pretty stretches of flowers along the road, especially as you approached Llano.

The problem here was that the flowers are only along the roadside, as in what is probably the road right of way. I guess I was hoping to see fields of wildflowers, not just twenty foot wide strips of color directly roadside. There are signs informing you that it is illegal to park within ten feet of the pavement, and there are all but no turnoffs along the road, so stopping to get photos is going to prove to be difficult, I would dare say.

Tomorrow I will continue searching west of here to see what I can find. No matter what I do or do not find, the change of scenery, and temperatures, from the Rio Grande Valley to here are a blessed relief.

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