When I visited Hill Country last fall I made a mental note that I needed to return in the spring when the Blue Bonnets were blooming, and since this just might be my last spring in Texas, when the perfect opportunity presented itself ... well, I took it.
As per usual lately, it was a pretty rainy trip, but Hill Country in the rain is WAAY better than New Orleans in the rain.
I started out by going to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin. I have to say, that I had pretty high expectations for this visit. I was underwhelmed by the Center on my last trip, but this time I expected riotous wildflowers everywhere. It was not to be, but I did get some good pictures...
There was even wildlife viewing!
It's an owl! There were owlets in that nest as well, but I never got a picture of them.
Next stop was Fredericksburg, Texas. I ate lunch at The Auslander again, because their potato soup is the best potato soup in the world, and even better on a chilly rainy day.
I was actually in Fredericksburg because the Willow City Loop is just outside of town and I had read several articles about this 14 mile loop that named it as one of the best spots in THE WORLD to view wildflowers. Those articles are either a) misinformed, or b) wildflower viewing is really sad around the world.
The Loop is a fourteen mile loop that is completely privately owned. There are signs at either end noting that there is no parking or stopping anywhere on the loop so most of these pictures were taking out of my car window while going so slowly that the speedometer didn't actually register speed.
Heading into the loop there was a fence with boots on all the fence posts.
I took these pictures Wes-style. With the passenger window rolled down, camera in hand, pointing back behind me, while steering the car. I was not, however, also lighting a cigarette.
This part of Texas is really beautiful. I was looking at rolling hills, covered in green trees, and it made me think of you, Kane!
Every half-mile or so there would be a cattle guard with a sign announcing loose livestock - which translates into COWS!
I am a baby cow who likes to frolic in Blue Bonnets.
I will EAT ALL OF YOUR BLUE BONNETS!
And these vultures were actually eating something furry. The scooted up the hill a bit, though, when I slowed down.
This one just watched from a nearby tree. Him was not invited to the feast.
The loop completed I headed to Luckenbach with the idea that I may stay and see the "Picker Circle" later that night.
This store has been in existence since 1849.
I got there around three in the afternoon and the music didn't start until five. Luckenbach has a long and storied history having been sold lock, stock, and barrel in 1970. Now, there is the General Store, Dancehall, Firepit, Bar and live music all the time.
"Wildlife" sighting continued...
As they say, "Everybody's somebody in Luckenbach", and with that my time in Texas Hill Country came to a close.
I embarked on this trip with "on a pillow of blue bonnets and a blanket made of stars" running through my head. I got the pillow of blue bonnets...
but there were absolutely no stars out during this very rainy trip.