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16 04, 2018

In Search of Texas Bluebonnets

By |2018-04-15T18:22:02-05:00April 16th, 2018|A Writer's Life|1 Comment

Spring in Texas brings bluebonnets. People will travel miles to find the one perfect spot to snap a bluebonnet picture.

Some are professional photographers. Most are family members looking for a cluster of the state flower in which to pose their loved ones and pets.

Highways become a nightmare of start and stop traffic on April weekends. No trespassing signs wave in the breeze on barbed wired fences surrounding private property. Enthusiasts ignore the caution as they seek the best field of bluebonnets.

Too many picture takers also trample the blooms.

Saturday we braved the unusually cold, wet, and windy weather seeking a patch of bluebonnets for pictures. The stop and go traffic of the peak Easter weekend was gone and, sadly, so were the larger patches of flowers along US 290.

We ventured on to the annual Bluebonnet Festival in Chappell Hill hopeful that taking the less traveled back roads coming home would yield the perfect spot.

We parked on the backside of town and walked to where the vendors’ tents displayed their wares. Along the way, we passed a patch of bluebonnets in a yard. Fearful that it could be our only option for Finn’s first bluebonnet photo, we stopped to snap a picture.

As you can see, Finn was unimpressed and Buster didn’t care to join us.

After visiting the fair, we drove out the backway along the less traveled country roads. We did find a small patch of bluebonnets.

The storm clouds were breaking up and blue sky was peeking through but the wind came in fierce gusts.

 

We did manage to get a few great shots.

Next year I think we’ll join all the other bluebonnet picture seekers for the peak weekend.

9 04, 2018

Texas, My Texas

By |2018-04-07T13:10:47-05:00April 9th, 2018|Make Me Think Monday, Writer's Life|4 Comments

I recently changed my FB banner. I know, I know. FB is a touchy subject these days, but in order to connect with readers I keep an active FB presence. But I digress…

I chose a Texas bluebonnet picture. It’s the one you see on the left. When I think of Texas, I think of bluebonnets. I missed them when I lived away.

Famous Texas Bluebonnet (Lupinus texensis) Wildflowers.

Texas is bluebonnets. People also associate the state with Lone Star beer, cowboys and rodeos, astronauts and space centers, cattle and the Texas Medical Center.

Texas is a very diverse place. Same thing’s true of a Texan and I’m not talking about the football team players.

We all have a picture in our heads when we think of a native Texan. Usually it’s someone with a cowboy hat and boots, but there’s more to a Texan and even Texans who never wear cowboy boots.

Hurricane Harvey gave images of real Texans and not many of them wore Stetsons. The folks in those pictures looked like anyone else helping their families and neighbors when hard times strike.

Texas has its own language, Texas-speak. A whole slew of vocabulary that can have folks scratching their heads. I just used a Texas-ism—slew, meaning a whole bunch.

We’re always y’all-ing and gonna and fixin’ when we talk. Non-Texans do sometimes need an interpreter.

When I’m lazy in my writing, Texas talk naturally flow into my first drafts even if my characters are not Texans. My critique partners and editors often catch phrases like:

come hell or high water – proceeding, regardless of the problems, obstacles, etc.

conniptions – get upset and raise a ruckus

hissy fit – kin to a conniption; a state of extreme agitation and not a pretty thing to see

hot as tin toilet seat – in Texas we know that’s HOT

screaming bloody murder or banshee scream – not a pleasant sound at all

bone tired – yep, been there

slow as molasses – visualize molasses syrup oozing out of the jar

keep your pants on – meaning not what you think, but to be patient!

If you’ve ever been to Texas, you know it’s a special place. You love it or hate it. Seems there’s no in between.

But there’s something in a natural born Texan’s blood that tends to bring them back to Texas no matter how far or how long they wander. My daddy always said I’d come home and I did.

3 06, 2016

Higher Ground

By |2016-05-20T16:41:49-05:00June 3rd, 2016|Miller Farm Friday|1 Comment

A blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara

Texas has had a great deal of rain recently.  Considering the drought conditions we have endured over the past several years, I am not complaining.

I do feel sorry for the chickens, though. highwaterchicks1As the chicken yard has filled with water, the birds are seeking higher ground.highwaterchicks2

 

The one advantage to all the rain is  our bluebonnets  have bloomed a second time.

blue bonnetsI think it’s worth the mess in the chicken yard.