Texas has more than 5,000 flowering plants native to the Lone Star State, across a vast multitude of environs, and elevations. And every Spring the display most Texans wait for is when the treasure trove of Bluebonnets come out to play, sometimes offering spectacular fields of Bluebonnets that are more than a mile long.
I’m anxiously following the wildflower reports from well regarded institutions like the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin and other obsessed outlets so I can plan this year’s photographic expedition throughout the state. Last year I ranged across the Texas Hill Country finding displays from Ennis, the Brenham/Independence area, Fredericksburg, Pontotoc and other areas in the Llano/Mason area.
Bluebonnets while typically blue, also have a couple of other (albeit it rarer) varieties. Typically they grow to about a foot in height, but the variety found only in Big Bend National park can grow to nearly 3 feet tall. Here are just a few of the bluebonnets I captured in 2016.
Several of my pieces are currently available at RiverWinds Gallery in New York.
- Quoth the Raven – boldly features a raven from the Tower of London. The photo shows every individual feather, every contour, the ridged eye, the delineation of the beak, and even drops of water beading on the Corvus.
- Monet’s Dream – showcases water lilies framed by wind-agitated water reflecting the partially cloudy sky amidst the looming branches of tall pine trees.
- Keeping Beezy – stars some contented pollinators. Not only is there great color in this piece from the beautiful pink bloom, but you can see the veins in the wings of the bees as well.
Since it’s so hard to fully see the detail in these photos showing the works in situ at the gallery, I’ve also included the images, unencumbered, so you can see what’s framed behind the glass better in the slideshow below.
RiverWinds Gallery is located at 172 Main Street in Beacon, New York. They are also happy to do mail orders as well, so if you can’t visit in person you can always call them to inquiry at: 845.838.2880.
One of my favorite places to go when I’m in New York is the Metropolitan Museum of Art. As much as I enjoy their Medieval Collection housed at the Cloisters, and their Asian Art to spend a day, I particularly love their antiquities collection including works from ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome.
One of the highlights of my visits is the Temple of Dendur, which was preserved in part due to Jacqueline Kennedy. She helped Egypt preserve the Abu Simbel Temple, a UNESCO site that would end up flooded from a man-made reservoir the government was needing to build. In return Egypt wanted to give a gift, and that gift, chosen by Jackie, was the Temple of Dendur which is now housed within the MET. This trip, the museum also had the massive Athena statue from Pergammon on loan and display (as well as some other works), and Athena towers over you in the main lobby as a greeter to the sacred halls of art. Since I’ve seen the Pergammon altar that resides now in Berlin a few years ago, seeing this was like another piece of the puzzle.
At one point I got a bit lost among the modern art. The window not only reflected back the artwork on the wall, but it also had a winter landscape view of Central Park, and the silhouette of the city skyline as the sun began descending. I found the juxtaposition of inside and outside, solidity and transparency intriguing.
These images are not available for purchase, per the museum’s photography policies.
One of the things I enjoy about the peak of wildflower season from March – June here in Texas, is that often times the best wildflower fields can be found in the countryside along with the livestock from which farmers and ranchers derive their livelihood. Ennis, Texas is known for their bluebonnets, and the area garden club works on seeding their surrounding countryside, providing maps for tourists which even include other photo ops of interest, such as that all too stereotypical Texas Longhorn and even horses. One of the owners leaves out a bucket of grain for visitors, so you can tempt the horses to the fence line for photos. Whether it’s Ennis, or other areas of the Texas Hill Country, you never quite know what you might find unless you go exploring!
Tulips to me are my sign for early spring. I adore these flowers, and love how some varieties almost can look like peonies are other flowers entirely when you just look at the blossom. People don’t usually think about Tulips when they think about Texas, but there is one vast commercial grower in the Dallas / Fort Worth area known as Texas Tulips in Pilot Point, that in addition to offering landscaping services, and selling Tulip bulbs, also has a you pick them field and they welcome photographers too (the field will open late February). The Dallas Arboretum has one of the best spring displays in the country with $5 admission in February (although currently it’s the daffodils that are blooming now, but tulips won’t be far behind), and the Fort Worth Botanical Gardens, while not as impressive as Dallas, is free and can have some nice flowers too. I’m already planning this year’s excursions, but here’s some of my best shots from late February / early March 2016.