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We have many people ask, "When's the best time for bluebonnets?" or "Where's the best spot to take pictures?" Well, this is the spot to be checking for that very information! Come here for the latest updates on locations, activity, and more regarding all things wildflowers!
Read our Wildflower Blogs from years past!
Read our Wildflower DOs & DON'Ts
We know you want to take pictures in the fields lined with colorful flowers, but we want you to be safe. Please follow these guidelines for keeping your family safe during this next season...
- Bring that camera! Washington County has a photo contest every year and the winning entry is made into a postcard with the photographer’s photo credit.
- It is easy to gaze off the road when you are driving to look for those patches of bluebonnets. Select a designated watcher in the car and have the driver keep his/her eyes on the road! Also, when you pull off to see a patch of wildflowers, be very careful of the cars driving past you and keep your eye on the occupants in your automobile. It is easy to get carried away with getting the best camera shot but be sure you don’t wander off into traffic while looking through the viewfinder!
- Keep your eye on small children. We all know how quickly they can dart between cars or out in the street. When you are enjoying or photographing the wildflowers, keep safety in mind for everyone in your party.
- Don’t touch, pet or bother the livestock! This includes horses, cows, goats, sheep, etc. It’s neat when you pull over to a bluebonnet patch and there are wonderful animals on the other side of the fence. All of these animals may bite out of aggression, fear or the prospect of food they think you have! Protect yourself and your children by keeping a safe distance. Also, before you sit in a patch of bluebonnets, check the area where you will be sitting - a mound of ants or a surprised snake will not make a pretty picture.
- Stay off private property. If there is a fence, that is a good indication it is private property. If it is an unfenced field off the road right-of-way, there is still a good chance it is private property. Instead of trespassing, make sure it is permissible when you wander through the bluebonnets. (Many of our attractions feature bluebonnet patches that are good, safe areas for picture taking.)
- Plan ahead! Request a Visitor Guide or call 1-888-BRENHAM. There is a lot to do in Washington County and you will find lodging, restaurants, attractions, shopping, etc. to add to your bluebonnet trip.
Wildflower Activity - 2012
(Visit our 2012 Wildflower Gallery)
March 21, 2012 - CHILLY start this morning following yesterday's downpours (still not complaining!), but look at these little beauties at Old Baylor Park in Independence! Bluebonnets, Indian paintbrush (see the picture), white wild onion and splashes of Apache Tea (yellow frilly flower) blanket the back side of the park. Tomorrow we'll post some of the other flowers seen in pretty Washington County! Stay Tuned!
March 19, 2012 – With a colorful mix of wildflowers, Old Baylor Park in Independence is more beautiful with each passing day. Scattered areas of bluebonnets and other wildflowers can be found on many Washington County roads and will continue to become more visible over the next few weeks. Scattered patches of bluebonnets can be found along Hwy 290 from Chappell Hill to Brenham, on portions of FM 390, FM 1155 and Hwy. 105. William Penn Road (which connects Hwy 105 to FM 390) also has several showy fields of bluebonnets to see. FM 390 from Hwy 105 to Independence has a lot of Indian Paintbrush. Reminder: Please watch where you step or place your children for photos - ant beds are plentiful and poisonous snakes have been seen occasionally.
March 15, 2012 - The bluebonnets are popping up every day in different areas. Just keep your eyes out! There is a nice patch of bluebonnets on Hwy 290 East on the eastbound side of the highway between Brenham and Chappell Hill (the area is known as Winklemann Village). People are enjoying taking pictures in it today. Please be careful whether you're a passerby or a picture taker!
Other patches that can be enjoyed in safe zones are within Brenham's city limits! Go over to Wood Ridge Blvd off of Hwy 36 South behind La Quinta Inn and Walmart. The bluebonnets are growing nicely out there and should be really plentiful in another week or two. Look behind Whataburger - there is a large, beautiful strip of really full bluebonnets, perfect for picture taking with the little ones. You can park in the lot at Dollar Tree and Maurice's. And across Hwy 36 from there, the bluebonnets have really filled out in front of Applebee's and the former Arby's. Beautiful areas for pictures with the kids!
March 15, 2012 - Spring Break week is wonderful! The wildflowers are responding well to the spring temperatures in the low 80s. Hillsides are covered with airy yellow broomweed (looks like yellow baby's breath). Old Baylor Park in Independence has a wild variety of wildflowers - white wild onion, baby blue-eyes, Ranunculaceae, early bluebonnets, vibrant yellow coreopsis and Indian paintbrush. Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site has wildflowers popping up everywhere in the "Birthplace of Texas." For scenic drives, wander through Chappell Hill and Washington on FM 1155, Hwy. 290 near Chappell Hill, FM 390, Hwy. 36 and FM 105. Wildflower species bloom in different time periods (early spring, mid-spring, late spring.) Bluebonnets are beginning to show color, but they are still immature; however, the early wildflower species are spectacular! Don't forget to take a look at our "Dos & Don'ts" (above) for your safety and others. Bring the camera and post your pictures on our Flickr page!
March 13, 2012 - Rain was GREAT this weekend! Washington County had between 4-6 inches! Our wildflowers are BEGINNING to bloom. It is still early meaning the fields are not in full bloom, but meander through the county to see these fabulous wildflowers! In Brenham, SMALL patches of bluebonnets can be seen at the corner of Park St. & Vulcan St. in downtown, in between the Dollar Tree Shopping Center and Wal-Mart off of Hwy. 36 South and between the Hwy. 290 access road and Bluebonnet Shopping Center near Applebee's. Driving around, Hwy. 290 median in Chappell Hill area and the interchange of Hwy. 36 N and Business 36 in Brenham. Other driving areas for wildflowers beginning to show are FM 1155 between Chappell Hill and Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site. There are a few early patches at Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site. Old Baylor Park in Independence has baby bluebonnets and wild onion (white), baby blues (dark purple) and some Ranunculaceae. At the corner of Hwy. 105 North and FM 50 some pale lavender spiky Obedient plants form an airy patch. The vibrant yellow broomweed (looks like baby's breath) covers several fields and many roadsides. The temperatures are supposed to be in the low 80s this week! We still anticipate peak season for late March to early April, but remember... Mother Nature is in control! :)
March 9, 2012 - Patience is a virtue......
We anticipate a rainy weekend, but BEAUTIFUL weather for next week... Spring Break! Our wildflower PLANTS are up, but it is still very early for flowers. There are a few areas with plants with some blooms, but we need the warmer temps and sun. (We love all this rain as our wildflowers and green rolling hills do!) Mike Shoup, owner of Antique Rose Emporium anticipates early April for peak. However, we don't control Mother Nature.... Please be patient with our beautiful wildflowers... they will come! Check out our past year blogs and see how we compare. We will keep you up to date for the places to see the flowers as they emerge! FYI --- we have a variety of great activities all next week! Come stay with us for a Spring Break getaway!
March 2, 2012 - HAPPY 176TH TEXAS INDEPENDENCE DAY!
It is still VERY EARLY in the wildflower season, but we are seeing SOME wildflowers beginning to bloom. Take a look at these very purple Baby Blues (Nemophilia sp.) on the backside of the columns at Old Baylor Park in Independence. Another flowering wildflower dotting our roadways is the Broomweed (Guitierrezia spp.) which looks like yellow baby's breath. Livestock avoid eating the Broomweed... especially with all the beautiful green grass in the pastures. Head out to Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Park for the Texas Independence Day Celebration this weekend. It is still at least 2 weeks early for their wildflowers, but crops look promising!
February 29, 2012 - Happy Leap Day! The day (& week) is supposed to be warming up in the upper 70s to 80! Maybe Panxsutawney Phil was wrong about a longer winter... at least in southeast Texas! Our 'not so wild' city bluebonnets look fantastic! Of course, these have more warmth due to the concrete or extra care. If you just can't wait to see the bluebonnets, come see our city ones at the corner of Vulcan St. and Park St., the Blue Bell Aquatic Center at E. Tom Green St. and Blue Bell Rd. (fenced in section, to be viewed from the outside only) and between the frontage road of Hwy. 290 and the Bluebonnet Shopping Center by Applebee's. Just had another report.... bluebonnets are beginning to blossom in the median of Hwy. 290 near Chappell Hill. These, of course, are strictly for seeing from a moving car. Be safe; Hwy. 290 is a major highway!
February 24, 2012 - Here is our first sighting of baby bluebonnets and wildflowers across our green rolling hills of Washington County! It is still very, very early but when the temperatures begin to warm up, we'll have a great wildflower season. These pretty little white 10-petal anemones sparkle across the green grasses at Old Baylor Park in Independence and along many of our winding country roads. Also, look for these pretty purple flowers blooming at Old Baylor.
February 23, 2012 - More rain and even a couple of days of warmth is preparing us for Spring's arrival! Have you seen the few bluebonnets along the feeder road on Hwy 290 in front of Applebees? They even got on the front page of the Banner Press a couple of days ago. As well, our source at the Antique Rose Emporium found a few blooms with 10-petal Anemones (pictured). Keep your eyes out and if you want to share your sightings, CONTACT US!
February 14, 2012 – Happy Valentine’s Day! We’ve been blessed with several great rainstorms in the past few weeks! Our rolling hills are green again and our stock tanks are full or getting close! Lake Somerville is filling back up! Our first “scout” bluebonnets have made an appearance at Old Baylor Park in Independence. It is still too cool, but this rain is wonderful! Keep checking back with us!
January 25, 2012 - A huge storm blew across Washington County and a tornado caused some damage to a few buildings in town and some barns north of Brenham.
January 19, 2012 – January could be the 10th warmest January on record for the Houston area. We’ve had some nice soft, soaking rains in Washington County. Though the stock tanks are still low or dry, these rains have turned our rolling hills green again. Our local wildflower guru, Mike Shoup says this should be a very interesting year with all kinds of wildflower varieties! Because we have been in a severe drought, the weeds did not survive which means the wildflower plants do not have to compete with last year’s weeds for rain, sunshine or the limelight. If we continue on this path of soft rains and a mild winter, these wildflowers will have NO STRESS! (It’s good to be a wildflower in Washington County!) Current predictions are an earlier wildflower season with the warmer temperatures.