What has slowly become tradition is trekking across the Texas Hillcountry every Spring and Summer, in hopes of finding magical vistas, flora and fauna to snap in my viewfinder. On one of the legs of my recent photography trip, I got lost somewhere between San Saba, Cherokee, and Lampasas on April 6, 2017. So there I was in the Texas Hillcountry near sunset when I came across a large herd of deer. I caught this image of a very pregnant doe, and I adore the painterly effect of this photograph.
A hodge podge of some of the other wildflowers you can find growing across the Texas countryside: wild sunflowers, horsemint (bee balm), Yucca, Prickly Pear Cactus in bloom, coneflower, and more. So many fields are over taken by yellow flowers, unfortunately they’re a challenge to photograph as usually temperatures are such the grass is no longer quite as verdantly green when compared to early spring, and with green and yellow being complimentary colors, you don’t have the deep contrast that can help make both colors really vivid when taking a photograph.
It’s so amazing how in a period of 4-6 weeks the wildflowers can change so drastically in the Texas Hill Country. Bluebonnets and Indian Paintbrushes have faded, and now up comes other flowers like Indian Blankets (aka Firewheels), thistles, Horsemint (aka Bee Balm) and Mexican Hats (a type of coneflower) . I found this field June 8, 2016 along 71 just west of Spicewood and Cypress Creek. I stopped off and from the fence was taking pictures of the field, when I heard an engine idling behind me, the owner had come home from one of his other fields they farmed. The farm has been in the family since the 1800s, and the farmer couldn’t remember a year where the field was so overtaken by the horsemint. He even insisted my friends and I go home with some.
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.