Saturday, May 23, 2009

When In Texas....

(This post is a long time coming. Sorry I've been away for a while. I'll start catching up now with this entry.)
The state flower of New Jersey is the Violet. I know this because I just googled it! Perhaps I learned this in elementary school and just forgot. What I do know is after spending most of my life there, I never had the urge to run thru a meadow full of wild violets. The state flower of Texas is the Bluebonnet. I know this because I now live in Texas and EVERYONE in Texas knows this!
Within the first year of moving here, I often heard people speaking excitedly about the Bluebonnets being in bloom and about having their kids' pictures taken in fields. I shrugged this off as just another strange curiosity about people who lived in Texas. The next spring, I again heard people
chattering on about the Bluebonnets. I started to understand that this is a very special time and something people really do look forward to every year.

Last year was the first time I actually saw them. They bloom during March & April and while traveling quite a bit out in the country, I had the pleasure of seeing what the fuss was all about. Along the sides of major highways and country roads you'll see patches, some stretching just a few feet wide and others stretching across whole fields, of beautiful blue carpet. I thought it was funny watching people pull over and take pictures in the flowers. I even saw one woman wrapped in a sheet laying in the field while being photographed. However, after witnessing this I started to think I might, afterall, be missing out on something special.
This year I made a secret vow to photograph my kids in the Bluebonnets and see what this craze is all about. As they began to bloom, I kept my eyes peeled for the perfect spot. About 40 minutes from our home, on the way to take Brian back to college after spring break, I found it!! Plans were made and together with a friend, I took the 3 youngest kids & 2 dogs out to the Bluebonnet field.

What had I been missing all this time? A truly wonderful way to enjoy the the gift of nature that God has given us! How many times have I driven by a patch of wild flowers without giving them more than a passing glance. Well, on this day, we all experienced the beauty of our world using our eyes to enjoy the brilliant color, our noses to smell the fragrant aroma, & the full tactile sensation of laying in a bed of flowers. After posing for some pictures, the kids started an impromptu game of hide & seek and had a morning they'll never forget. I have no doubt that my kids will always know the name of the state flower of Texas!

The perfect patch:

Taking it all in:

The dogs check it out:

Playing hide n seek:

Sharing the experience with friends:

We're one step closer to really being Texan!!!