Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Texas Wildflowers

My mom embarrassed me. Whoa.....don't hate me...let me explain!

She embarrassed me when I was a kid and she would stop the car (with me in it) and hop out to look at wildflowers along the road.

First, I could just feel the dirty looks the people in passing cars were giving us for causing a distraction.

Second, and this is what the distraction was, she would bend over to examine the "posies," as she called them, exposing her rear to every passing car. It was the 60s, and she favored a culotte jumper in an animal print, so she really didn't expose her rear, but it was out there for the world to see!

Third, I just knew there must be some kind of law against that sort of thing--you know--looking at posies while exposing your rear to passing motorists.

I just didn't get it.

Until I was in my 40s, and I went back to college to earn a degree. One of the first classes I took was a botany class, and we were assigned a project of collecting and drying wildflower specimens. I loved working on this project, and my project was outstanding (if I may say so myself). I didn't just collect and dry specimens, tape them in some dime-store notebook, and write their scientific names on each page with a fine-tip Sharpie. Oh, no, I made mine into a wonderful scrapbook. I collected specimens from the Panhandle to San Antonio to the Mexican border, and all the way to the coast. I wrote little stories about the flowers, included recipes, and herbal medicinal uses for the flowers.

That project turned out to be a project that renewed me. My husband had died only about two years before, and I was in a funk and trying to find my way. The project made me stop and see the beauty that was all around me. It gave me a reason to get outdoors (I spent a lot of time on the sofa watching TV and eating ice cream after my husband died). The project made me excited to be in school and gave me something to look forward to--a degree. And, the beauty of the flowers gave me peace.

I finally "got" why my mother loved wildflowers so.

You know the old adage, "what goes around, comes around?" Well, I embarrassed my kids, too!

This year, Texas is having a spectacular wildflower season, thanks to perfect winter conditions (abundant rainfall). This past weekend, I enjoyed a day of spotting and photographing the wonderful flowers a bit south of San Antonio in Atascosa and Devine. I hope you enjoy my pictures.


Stephanie said...

beautiful photos! so bright and sunny looking.

TinsAndThings said...

This is a lovely post. And the photos are gorgeous!
(Hopefully they're on Flickr too?)
Actually, your whole blog is delightful. :)