Archive for the ‘Life in the Country’ Category

Flower Power


Posted by Mikie Baker  |  No Comments »

The State of Texas may not have the lush flora of Southern California but, in our opinion, we have something much better – bluebonnets. Every March we turn to the topic of this state flower by pondering whether there was enough rain in December to produce our precious crop. It’s almost as titillating as discussing when the last freeze is coming.

Yes, when it comes to bluebonnets, we Texans have Bluebonnet Fever. There are varying degrees to this disease which, luckily, I shall now explain.

Stage One – Elevated Bluebonnet
This Texan can take bluebonnets or leave them. If they pop up on the road, sure they’re nice to look at, but what’s the big deal, anyway? They’re just flowers and sooner or later, somebody’s going to mow.

Stage Two – Bluebonnet Disease
Texans who are at this stage actually plan a driving vacation to see the April bluebonnets. Most have their favorite spot where they can get out of the car and take photos knee-high in these flowers. And they’re the ones who email out that same photo every year of the giant rattlesnake in a field of bluebonnets with the subject line, “Watch where you step!”

Stage Three – Terminal Bluebonnet
Mainly a female affliction, you’ll find the terminally ill surrounded by bluebonnets – painted on coffee cups, stenciled on toilet seat lids and imprinted on metal license plates. They usually have an array of t-shirts from different bluebonnet festivals, bluebonnet jewelry and a tote bag that exclaims, “I Heart Bluebonnets!!!”

This disease can also attack an entire town. Because my job requires me to travel to several towns located in the Mecca of Bluebonnets – the Hill Country – I give witness to the impending epidemic.

At one Convention and Visitors Bureau, I noticed a giant photo on the wall. It was a picture of a massive old Texas Live Oak smack dab in the biggest sea of bluebonnets you’ve ever seen. I remarked to Girl Behind the Desk:

ME: “Boy that’s pretty.”
GBD: “Yes it is and Bobbie Jo took that photo right here in our county. We have the best bluebonnets in the state!”
ME” “You do? Why is that?”
GBD: “Because we have granite in our soil and everybody knows that granite makes bluebonnets grow better.”

Funny, but they never tried to sell me a bag of granite when I bought my bluebonnet seeds at the nursery.

I thought I’d heard it all until I headed into another Convention and Visitors Bureau several counties away. On the way to this visit, I had my first bluebonnet sighting right outside this particular town. The municipalities to the north and to the south had nary a bluebonnet to be found. I commented on this to the Important Executive Director.

 ME: “You know your town has the only bluebonnets I’ve seen. The counties on either side don’t even have a hint of the flowers.”
IED: “You know why, don’t you? Because last fall, we sprayed their counties with RoundUp!”

The final CVB I visited was so over the top, they had several six foot tall metal bluebonnets cemented in the ground right outside their front door. As I walked inside, before I could get a word out of my mouth, the girl behind the desk blurted out, “Welcome to the Bluebonnet Capitol of Texas! We have leftover Bluebonnet Festival Shirts from last year for only $2 each. How many would you like?”

Yep, get ready to catch the disease. It’s spreading like wildfire across the state and by the middle of April; I bet we’ll all be infected. Don’t worry – just let it run its course and enjoy how beautiful our state can be.


 Sorry – couldn’t resist!

Spreading laughter throughout the world…one chuckle at a time.

Mikie Baker