Every year, people around the world enjoy driving along the highways and country roads of Texas from mid-March to late May to watch and take pictures of bluebonnets.
The bluebonnet is the state flower of Texas. This beautiful flower is approximate one foot tall. Texas A&M researches breeded red and white strains, creating a Texas state flag in bluebonnets for the 1986 Texas Sesquicentennial. In time, researchers developed a deep maroon strain of bluebonnets, and this became the official color of Texas A&M University.
The name "bluebonnet" may come from the shape of the petals of the flower and their resemblance to the bonnets worn by pioneer women to shield themselves from the sun. Or, it may be derived from the Scottish term Bluebonnet, for the traditional blue colored version of the Tam o'shanter hat.
Legislators declared that Lupinus subcarnosus became the only species of bluebonnet recognized as the state flower of Texas on March 7, 1901. However, citizens of Texas overwhelmingly insisted that Lupinus texensis is the preferable species. So, in 1971 the Texas Legislature made any species of bluebonnet the state flower. A favorite pastime in Texas is photographing children, family members, and pets among bluebonnets.
After Lady Bird Johnson returned from Washington D. C. after the end of the presidency of her husband, Lyndon Baines Johnson, she persuaded the government of the State of Texas to seed bluebonnets and other wildflowers along the highways throughout the state. Every spring, the flowers return as a legacy to the First Lady.
Officially, it is illegal to pick bluebonnets in Texas, perhaps because the bluebonnet is Texas' state flower. But everybody knows that it is perfectly all right to pick bluebonnets along the highways in Texas.
I love bluebonnets. Evelyn and I sometime intentionally drive along the highway just to watch the bluebonnets. Bluebonnets are just another of God's billions of gifts on earth. I hope YOU enjoy and appreciate bluebonnets--and ALL of God's blessings.
What are YOUR experiences about bluebonnets? Share your incidents with others. Let me hear from YOU.