In addition to the orange-red hues of Indian Paintbrushes, there are also some cousin flowers known as Prairie Paintbrush, the later appears in a range of hues including yellow, pale pink, peach, fuschia and shades in between. While these are found in Texas, they also can be found as far north as Kansas and Missouri.
I was on the 501 between Pontotoc and Cherokee in the Texas Hill Country, when I stumbled along some roadside blooms that had a range of the prairie paintbrush blooming against the Texas state wildflower: the Bluebonnet.
The image with the footpath, comes from Tandy Hills Natural Area in Fort Worth, Texas. Located just minutes from downtown, it preserverves over 160 acres of native prairie, and you can find some spectatcular sunsets here, especially during the blooming season. Milkweed in endless varieties is prevalent, and milkweed is the favorite food (as well as place to cocoon) for the Monarch Butterfly.
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.