I hope that those of you living in more Northerly climes are starting to experience the thawing powers of spring, because otherwise this post might be a bit provoking. Here in Texas, spring has announced itself not just in the sunny warmth of the afternoons, but in the glorious color that speckles all of the highways and byways.
Every year around this time, some of the most gorgeous scenery can be found by driving along the interstate, where thick patches of bluebonnets, Indian paintbrushes, Indian blankets, pink evening primroses, and other native wildflowers cover swaths of land. Driving out to Yarnorama the other week for their anniversary party, we saw some amazing color combinations, but even just between leaving my house and exiting the neighborhood there are little bursts of blooms. You'll see people stopped by the side of the road with their kids (or their dogs) taking annual portraits in the bigger areas, the same way my mom took me out every year to sit and smile in the bluebonnets.
Visually, the wildflowers are stunning. But there's something else that I love about them as well. For one thing, they reappear every year all by themselves. Yes, the seeds had to be spread initially using a tiny percentage of roadway budget thanks in large part to Lady Bird Johnson, and the success of their blooming depends on the weather each year. But otherwise, nothing really has to be done to cultivate this garden show. And it's not some manicured exhibit that you walk through once and then leave, or a beautiful bouquet you put on your dining room table for a week before it wilts. You pass it every day on the way to work, along with everyone else. It's something you all share each day in the midst of your mundane commute for a few weeks. It makes me smile not just because it makes me smile, but because I know it makes other people smile, that it makes us smile year after year. It's a communal experience even as you're alone in your car.
Of course, it's also great to go visit places like the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, which we went to today, to take a leisurely stroll through the flowers and get information about them. It also gives you a chance to take lots of photos without cars speeding past. Here's a little montage:
I have a few other shots I'm saving for next week's FO Friday post, because aside from being an inspirational starting point for knitting, wildflowers also make a great backdrop for photos of finished knitting.
Do wildflowers blanket the sides of the road where you live this time of year? For more inspiration, go to Woolen Diversions.