Bluebonnet Heaven May 31 2010, 0 Comments

Living in the south means that spring comes early. It is one of the many things I have always enjoyed. While the snow is blowing and the winter winds continue to howl in the north, the spring flowers begin to bloom and the grass takes on a bright spring green.

Normally, I am all but glued to the southeast during late March and early April as I a wait a few days of glory when the azaleas bloom. But this year, I headed to the Hill Country of Texas to see another display Mother Nature hasn’t shown there in nearly a generation.

Lining the roads and highways of Texas with wildflowers instead of bill boards was the mission of Lady Bird Johnson. She had thousands of acres of wildflower seeds scattered along the highways. Blankets of Bluebonnets, Indian Paint Brush and Mexican Hats covered rolling hills and meadows along a stretch of road that has come to be called the Bluebonnet Trail. Recent years of severe drought have left the trail barren of these lovely lilies, at least until the rains came this past January and February soaking the lands that would bring those rolling hills of wildflowers back in full force this spring.

For several days, I attempted to photograph the flowers with a macro lens. It was frustrating because Bluebonnets are tall and thin. They really don’t photograph well as individual flowers. That did not dawn on me until the fourth day. Just before dawn headed out onto Texas RT 1620 and a large meadow covered in a variety of wildflowers was calling me. I realized that with a Nikon soft lens filter attached to my camera lens, I would be able to take Monet like photographs of these exquisite scenes. The next several days were magical as I let go of trying to get the perfect image. And then I remembered a rule I had forgotten:Never go out to work with set expectations. It will mess up your work. Let the magic happen.