Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

B ‘n B: not bed and breakfast, but a familiar springtime ritual in Texas

with 24 comments

People Photographing Baby in Bluebonnets 5865

Today being April Fool’s Day, I thought I’d do something different and bring you a photograph with people as well as wildflowers in it. I don’t know any of the people shown here along FM 971 in Georgetown on March 30, but they’re engaged in a springtime routine that’s familiar in this part of the world: find a field of bluebonnets, Lupinus texensis, plunk your kid(s) down in it, and blast away taking pictures. The ritual reaches its peak at Easter, with the posed children decked out in their Sunday best.

The three women that you see on the left side of the closer group in this picture were all using cell phones; only the woman in the unrelated group in the back—plus me, of course—was using a “real” camera. The times they are a-changin’ when it comes to photography, but not to the act of photographing b ‘n b (babies in bluebonnets).

© 2014 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 1, 2014 at 6:01 AM

24 Responses

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  1. Beautiful!

    Island Traveler

    April 1, 2014 at 6:39 AM

  2. Wonderful dive into nature’s purple bounty.

    lensandpensbysally

    April 1, 2014 at 7:36 AM

  3. I have always wanted to come to Texas to photograph the Bluebonnets! Great post!

    denisebushphoto

    April 1, 2014 at 7:43 AM

    • Ah, a Bush wanting to come to Texas. We have many kinds of bushes here and lots of wildflowers. Come on down.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 1, 2014 at 8:08 AM

  4. We captured great bluebonnets along HWY 77 south of I-10 several weeks ago. They are just now getting in full bloom further north.

    walktx

    April 1, 2014 at 7:45 AM

    • I read a good report from a little west of that area but the weather this week is cloudy and I haven’t yet driven south this season. Friday may do the trick.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 1, 2014 at 8:12 AM

  5. Babies in bluebonnets! Perfect 🙂

    I’m also beginning to see bluebonnets springing up everywhere, it’s gotta be spring!

    Alex Autin

    April 1, 2014 at 7:47 AM

    • In San Antonio you should be slightly ahead of us. Bluebonnets (and plenty of other things) have been coming out here for several weeks. Yes, definitely spring.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 1, 2014 at 8:14 AM

  6. Oh yes! We have done that with all of ours for sure. We drive north and west of Houston in the Belleville area, and not just for the bluebonnets. Stunning fields of wildflowers abound here in Texas, but you don’t need me to tell YOU that.

    Shannon

    April 1, 2014 at 11:00 AM

    • You’re still welcome to say it, Shannon. So far in Austin I haven’t seen any fantastic displays this year, but I’m still hopeful for some now that the cold weather seems gone for good.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 1, 2014 at 1:33 PM

  7. Now learned that the bluebonnet of Texas is the state flower which I suppose explains the popularity of plonking down your infants (preferably wearing a blue bonnet) in the midst of them and snapping away. I like the flowers, not so keen on the people, a shame you couldn’t get them all to move out of the way and just leave the baby sitting there. Is this plant related to the wild lupins found in New Zealand? Not just blue.

    Heyjude

    April 1, 2014 at 11:04 AM

    • I have plenty of pictures showing fields of bluebonnets without people, and if you search the Internet I expect you’ll find plenty of photographs of babies sitting in bluebonnets. In today’s photo I made my subject the taking of pictures of children in bluebonnets. The idea occurred to me because all those people walked into the field at the same time I did, so they were going to be there for a while.

      You’re right that the Texas bluebonnet is a lupin(e). I just confirmed that the genus Lupinus is native to the Americas, so it appears the lupins you have in New Zealand were brought there by the British, who had earlier carried lupines from the Americas to England and hybridized them there. The article at

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lupinus_polyphyllus

      includes a photograph captioned “Russell lupins alongside a road in Canterbury, New Zealand.”

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 1, 2014 at 2:56 PM

  8. I had a similar experience last spring here in New Zealand with daffodils at our local park. Great photo and story. 😀

    Raewyn's Photos

    April 1, 2014 at 12:08 PM

    • Thanks, Raewyn. You’ve reminded me of Wordsworth:

      “And then my heart with pleasure fills,
      And dances with the daffodils.”

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 1, 2014 at 2:58 PM

  9. This is such a great capture of the Springtime Ritual, and it’s also a reminder that when I shake myself loose to go see what’s blooming, it would be good to arrange my schedule to go during the week, rather than on a beautiful Saturday or Sunday.

    The bluebonnets are lovely, but my favorite sight still is an expansive field of mixed bluebonnets and Indian Paintbrush. My mother always demanded a spring trip to go see the flowers, and one year we saw the most beautiful example of that mixture I’ve ever seen. Mom demanded that I stop the car, so she could just look. And look, she did — for about ten minutes, just soaking it in. It’s one of my favorite wildflower memories, and comes back every spring.

    shoreacres

    April 2, 2014 at 8:27 AM

    • That’s a pleasant memory to have of your mother. You’ve reminded me that I have a picture from the 1990s of my father with a field of bluebonnets behind him.

      As for days of the week, I generally avoid weekends, although this picture was taken on a Sunday, and that accounts, as you implied, for the people. There were more of them doing the same thing in another bluebonnet colony across the street from this one.

      Bluebonnets alone have their charm (and scent), but a mixture of colors and species is visually more appealing. I haven’t seen a great mixture yet this season, but I’ll keep looking.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 2, 2014 at 9:12 AM

  10. looks like fun

    sedge808

    April 2, 2014 at 8:31 PM

  11. […] Lupinus texensis, at their floral peak, but viewed more closely than you could see them in the picture of the colony two days ago. I’ve read that the reddish areas visible on some of the bluebonnets are an […]

  12. […] time the B & B of the title are bluebonnets, Lupinus texensis, and butterweed, Packera tampicana. On the afternoon […]


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