No matter where we have lived in the world, my family has always managed to visit Texas during the March/April bluebonnet season. While I realize that it is more happy coincidence than collusion, the British school system just happens to break up for several weeks during the very best bit of the Texas year. Like predictable homing pigeons, albeit with considerably more luggage, we make our way back to the original nest.
Although we land in Houston, I never really feel "home" until we embark on the long drive to my parents' house in central Texas. Outside of the city, I really begin to notice the vast blue bowl of a sky that characterizes my home state.
The bluebonnets are always the most lush around the Brenham/Chappell Hill area -- about 70 miles northwest of Houston. We drove through on a sunny Saturday, and the sloping sides of the road were thronged by amateur photographers. As far as I know it isn't a law, but it is certainly the custom that all Texas children should be be photographed in the bluebonnets, preferably decked out in their new Easter clothes.
It is a 200 mile drive from Houston to my parents' house, and you can drive many of those miles without seeing anything but fields and cows. There are about five towns with population enough for gas stations and fast food restaurants. I know I'm in Texas when I can fill up the gas tank for only 25 dollars. Another tip: If you time your drive-by through Elgin just right, you can hit the Sonic Happy Hour and buy a lime slush for half-price.
It looks like this cow is eating bluebonnets, but she may be grazing around them. Blue Bell, the best ice cream in Texas, is made in Brenham . . . which is also the approximate location of this cow.
This picture was taken on a day almost unbelievably perfect, yet only two days later a terrible storm brought five inches of rain and a brutal wind which uprooted trees and tore off roofs. Texas can be a bit intense.