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Bluebonnets Gone Wild

Thanks to the sowing of seeds last fall by a resident in our neighborhood, this corner is bursting with Bluebonnet blooms. Yes that’s right, we are not out in the middle of the country, viewing a field of Bluebonnets alongside a country road. We are in a suburban west Houston neighborhood where the wildflowers have gone wild.
Bluebonnets blooming on the sidewalk
Popping up through the cracks and creaves in the sidewalk near a stop sign, this corner is a show stopper that got me out of my car, and literally lying on the pavement snapping photos.

I waited until just before sunset when the shadows and angle would diffuse through the petals. I noticed that the photographs looked the best when taken with the sunlight in front of me, and near sunset. That soft light filters through the flower petals and illuminates them. I’ve read that photography is better with the sun behind you, but I found the colors to be faded and opaque as in this photo below. I guess it is like taking photos of a sunset. The photos just before the sun drops below the horizon create the most beautiful images. Experiment for yourself and see which lighting creates the best photographs for your camera.

Texas bluebonnets blooming in a field.
Sunlight from behind me makes the photo appear washed out

Bluebonnets blooming on the corner in west Houston
Bluebonnets blooming on the corner in west Houston
Bluebonnets blooming on the corner in west Houston
Bluebonnet flower

bluebonnets lining the curb
bluebonnets on the sidewalk
Bluebonnets on the driveway

A bunch of blue flowers are growing in a garden.
Bluebonnet mound

Seed pods on Bluebonnets
Notice the seed pods in the lower left corner of the photo? You’ll need to wait for them to turn brown and for the seeds inside to rattle when you shake the pods. Learn more about saving these seeds in this post at Zanthan Gardens.

In Houston, sowing wildflower seeds is best done in the fall (late November / early December ). You can buy seeds online at Wildseed Farms in Fredericksburg Texas and at fine garden centers in Houston. If you find seeds now, it’s okay to buy them and store them in the refrigerator until fall.

12 thoughts on “Bluebonnets Gone Wild”

  1. Melanie Marshall

    I recognize that yard! I appreciate it every spring. The bluebonnets sprouting in the cracks of the aging concrete are awesome.
    Thanks for the tips on lighting, too!

  2. Hi Jackie,

    It’s Emily down the street, just wanted to say hello. Love the pics!

  3. Just beautiful! Can’t wait til next year and I can try to spread the love in Georgia! Missed the timing this year!

  4. What a lovely grouping of bluebonnets! And I couldn’t get mine to come up this year or last year … bummer!

    Great photos, too, Jackie. You’re right, the “golden hours” for taking photos outdoors are the first hour of light and the last hour of daylight. During these times, natural lighting is truly the best and you can avoid harsh, direct lighting that has a tendency to wash out photos and/or create too much contrast. This may mean stopping down to let in more light or slowing the shutter in order to get the right tones and exposure, but you did fine with these shots. The first shot is just a little too much in the direct sunlight, which gave it the “washed out” look you noticed (and just barely at that). You could always bump up the saturation and/or blacks just a bit in your photo editor to give it that extra pop.

    The last photos that you took of the bluebonnets in the shade look perfect!

    1. Jacqueline D'Elia

      Thanks. I used the portrait automatic settings on my camera for these shots. I am still working my way through the The Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi/450D Companion book. I purchased to get comfortable with the other settings.

  5. Hi Jacqueline, lovely photos! I love anything blue, it’s the most soothing color. Wouldn’t it be nice if more neighbors planted a few seeds…

  6. Beautiful photos! We are so down on the wildflower meter this spring here in Boerne. No rain last fall means pitiful wildflowers in the spring. So nice to see y’all in Houston have some. Your pictures are wonderful!

  7. Can’t help but recommend a children’s book called “Miss Rumphius”…beautiful watercolor illustrations and story of a woman who plants gorgeous blue lupine flowers wherever she goes….following her grandfather’s admonition to “leave the world a more beautiful place.” Your neighbor is following that teaching.

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