Friday, April 13, 2007


Texas Bluebonnets, white poppies, all kinds of wildflowers large and small, were abundant along the trails we hiked at Enchanted Rock. Even the cactus were blooming (below)!

Not far from Enchanted Rock, the Willow City Loop, a small (lane-and-a-half) backroad, is well known as a wildflower oasis. We wanted to drive the loop, so took a similarly narrow backroad from Enchanted Rock. We drove past old stone buildings, beautiful ranches... through shallow rivers and pastures of sleepy, contented cows. Texas bluebonnets lined the sides of the road and Odel commented that it was difficult to believe that the Willow City Loop could be prettier than the road we travelled. I agreed.

At the Willow City Loop, where the road narrowed to less than two lanes, an official road sign said that the 13 mile road went through private property and there was NO parking on or off the road. Hmmmm.... a clue that this would be something out of the ordinary.

For the first couple of miles, we wondered why we bothered. Then the roadside shoulders became more colorful.

We were getting into the spirit when we came around a curve, overlooking a valley, to see a clot of vehicles parked on the road - a no-no. And this is why: in the photo below, the blue pool is not water, it is a pool of Texas Bluebonnets. Throughout the valley, bluebonnets glowed everywhere.

And from then on, we - and everyone else- couldn't help but stop in the middle of the lane to drink in the eye-popping beauty. We were so thankful to be there on a weekday; I am sure this little lane is FILLED with cars on April weekends when wildflower lovers arrive in droves from Dallas, Ft. Worth, Austin and San Antonio. We probably saw two dozen cars, and we carefully leapfrogged each other as we slowed/stopped to take pictures and gasp over the displays.

This last photo was near the end of the loop, taken when we illegally stopped on the roadside. None of the pictures can do justice to the wildflower gardens, or the enchantment of the day - puttering slowly along, windows down, smiles on our faces. It doesn't get any better than this.

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