Texas Longhorn in the Wildflowers – We have come back to this location many times trying to get the longhorns in the wildflowers. They seem to like to take a siesta in the middle of the day so today we were able to capture this one just as he laid down in the wildflowers. You can see a few bluebonnets still hanging on but with all the new yellow wildflowers like I believe these may be black eye susans along with some Indian blankets and may other wildflowers. Of course the one laying in the flowers had to be the far away but no fear we put on the big lens to capture him. Wildflowers and longhorns what could be better than that.
Texas Bluebonnet Sunset Landscape Vertical – Texas bluebonnets in the hill country with cactus, a windmill, and a sunset on one of the many back roads we traveled over the last six weeks is a great last minute find. It is always a delight when we can find a nice field of texas bluebonnet wildflowers with prickly pear cactus and a windmill with a great sunset in the sky for that traditional Texas Hill country landscape. This is the iconic Texas scenery in the hill country that we have come to expect. The blue bonnet season is coming to an end for the bluebonnets in the hill country but just around the corner is the other wildflowers that should be popping up shortly to take it place.
Bluebonnets in the Texas Hill Country – We came across this lush field of bluebonnets in the Texas Hill Country outside of Llano on a back road in the hills. We had been traveling for over a month trying to find nice fields of bluebonnet wildflowers on these back roads. On this day the sun was starting to get lower in the sky and cast a golden glow over the trees as it was going down but with enough light left for the blueblonnets along this curved road. These are texas bluebonnets lupines that grow through out the state but the hill country has some of the best when its a good year. It looks like this might be an average good year for the wildflowers so we are happy to finally see more flowers this year. We have had either drought or flooding both of which are not alway good for the bluebonnets and other wildflowers, however they seem to be a little better so far this year. We love our bluebonnets in Texas we have festivals for them, we sell everything with bluebonnets on them including coffee cups, water bottles, T-shirt and pretty much anything you can think of! Bluebonnets start showing up around Texas in February down in the Big Bend area and around some coastal areas south of San Antonio. We were on my way down to beach for a friend birthday party in February and there were already blooming bluebonnets on IH35 going south from San Antonio even though that was more than a month early from when we see normally see them in the hill country. As a general rule the best time to see the Bluebonnets can be any time between the end of March and end of April. They might still be around but the grasses start to overtake the bluebonnet by the end of April, however all is not lost as other wildflowers will start showing up in May and June.
Oak Tree and Texas Bluebonnets – A wonderful old oak tree among a field of texas bluebonnets down near Poteet Texas south of San Antonio late in the day as the sun sink lower in the sky. There were a lot of field of wildflowers in this area but most had been overtaken by the poppies. The poppies were introduced accidently about ten year ago we heard and unfortunely they have become invasive and in some place you will not see the wildflowers because the poppies have over taken over the areas. There were a few in this field but it was the best bluebonnets we saw since we were a little late to the party in this area. We like this field a lot and we took a few different shot from here. This image was just our beloved texas bluebonnets, an large oak tree, with sime mesquite tree along the fringes of the field with a few poppies mixed in on this ranch in south central area of the country for a nice Texas landscape. The texas bluebonnet is the state flower and begin with a small hard seed and over time the rain, wind will soften the seed so it can germinate in the fall and slowly over time it begins to take root and it bright green leave come out every spring usually from March to the end of April. That when it all begins and the flowers start to put on a spring show. No doubt that what happen in this great field of bluebonnets out south of San Antonio. We were lucky that they were allowed to grow in this field so we could capture this image. We look forward to the yearly show of bluebonnets that come out for such a short time.
Big Bend Bluebonnets with Mule Ear – One last Big Bend bluebonnets photo from our trip to Big Bend National Park in February this year. This show the bluebonnets with an octillo and shrubs with Mule Ear in the background. The bluebonnets were spectacular and this spot with the wildflowers growing in this desert landscape along side the octillo with the Chiso mountains was a nice landscape find. This is a desert so you expect to find octillos and shrubs cactus but the bluebonnet just gave this barren landscape life. The bluebonnets in Big Bend are a special lupine that can grow several feet tall and thrive in this hostile environment and this year was the first time we have seen them like this, just the right amount of rain in the fall and other conditions that were just right led to the best blooms we have ever seen here in the last ten years we have been coming to the park.
Big Bend Bluebonnets Sunrise – The sunrise was just beginning to push through the clouds over the chiso mountain range near the landmark Cerro Castellan. The sky was getting this heavenly glow from the sun rays as they came through the sky just at the peak of the sun rising up. The Texas bluebonnets were flowing down the slope the valley below in this desert landscape scene. It was a cold morning to be standing and waiting for the sunrise to show and very quite till a coyotes pack began to yelp and howing right below us when a sudden sense of fear over came my other half as there were many yelps, all probably no more than 30 feet below us. Luckily for us they were not interested in us. Whew! This is a wild area and you are likely to run across all kinds of animals here including bear, wild hogs and mountain lions. Big Bend National Park was in full bloom with the big bend bluebonnets this year and it was lovely. This was the best year we have seen in our 10 plus years of coming here. The Big Bend bluebonnet or Chisos bluebonnet are the common name of this lupine. It is native to Texas and Chihuahua, where it can be found blooming from January through June. What surprised us were they were all over the hill sides and along the roads in thick patches. We were curious how they got so high up on the mountain sides. In any case it was a wonderful site to see and made us glad we came for this unique show.
Big Bend Bluebonnets Wildflowers- Big Bend bluebonnets in the Big bend National Park as the wildflowers climb up the mountain sides a rare sight. The bluebonnets on this ridge had the Santa Elena Canyon and Cerro Castillian as the distant landscape. There is nothing like a mountain back drop for your bluebonnet images. Bluebonnets were thick on the mountian sides off the ross maxwell scenic drive so we stopped to get some roadside photos and the next thing we know we have walk a mile up the mountain side. It was one of those moments when you look in another direction and there are even more blueboonets on another hill side or along a ridge that you just have to get too. It ws an amazing site. There were so many to be seen and such a short time to get the photos of the bluebonnets on our trip. There is just something about being in the presents of mountain and desert landscape and throw in some bluebonnets and it brings the kid out in you it is kind of a magical event. This species of lupine grows taller than other texas bluebonnets they are several feet tall and there stems and seeds are much larger than other bluebonnet plants. This is what makes them a little more hardy for the harsh weather conditions in west texas. Some of the comman name for these bluebonnet are the big bend bluebonnet, big bend lupine, chiso bluebonnet, and havard bluebonnet to name a few. Regardless of what you call them they are a wonderful site to see in this desert landscape. We have heard about how great these bluebonnets have been in the past but this is the first time in ten years we have seen them like this. In the past we only found a few small patches along the roads. We are glad we made the eight hour drive down to catch them before they are gone.
Chiso Mountains Overlook – Chiso Mountains Overlook in Big Bend National Park. This is one of those awesome views you get when you first drive into Big Bend National Park but timing is crucial to get a good shot from here. Finally we had all the right elements to capture the Chiso mountain range from this area. We have come through many times when the light is not good for a shot but today it worked. After a short hike I was able to find this wonderful prickly pear to help frame my photo so I was more than happy with the results. The Chiso mountains was formed by a volcanic event millions of years ago and in this image you can see the V or window as it is called with a view into the basin. Big Bend National Park is an American national park located in West Texas, bordering Mexico. The park has national significance as the largest protected area of Chihuahuan Desert topography and ecology in the United States. The park was named after a large bend in the river, and the Texas—Chihuahuan Desert is part of Big Bend and includes northern Mexico and the southwestern United States. Chiso is the only mountain range in the United States to be fully contained within the boundary of a national park. It is also the southernmost mountain range in the mainland United States. The highest point in the Chisos Mountain range is Emory Peak at 7,825 ft above sea level.
Llano River Bridge Sunset Pano – The Llano bridge pano in the Texas Hill Country as the sunset in the west. The Llano river runs through this small town in the heart of the Texas hill country with a lot water dam. This popular place has a lot of tourism from its bluebonnets along the roads, to hunting and fishing and other recreation in the area. The Llano river has seen a lot of flooding over the years since it was built in 1930 and just recently another flood occured and the waters went to the bottom of the bridge but it withstood the stress but a bridge futher downstream in Kingsland collapsed from the October 2018 flood.
360 Bridge After Dark – Austin 360 Bridge at dark with a little color still left in the sky from the sunset as the car trails cross the bridge. The 360 bridge is a popular spot to photograph the sunset but it is also a heavyily used road that why I did a long exposure to show how busy this road is as it is a connection from north to south of the city as the car trail show after dark not someplace to be at 5 pm if you can help it. This is on the edge of the Texas hill country near Austin with Lake Austin for boating, picnicing and other recreational activities so it is a popular place.