Tis the season of the bluebonnet in Texas. Every year in early spring, the fields open up and beautiful blossoms emerge covering Texas parks, fields, and highways. It’s a worthy experience to go out and find some and snap a few pics with this seasonal Texas icon.
Have you ever taken a spontaneous trip to do something you love? I did just that on my way to Austin having heard rumors that it was bluebonnet season, I literally had my boyfriend veer off the highway, turn around, and a take a detour through small podunk roads to find some beautiful patches of bluebonnets. BEST DECISION EVER.
Despite having grown up in Texas and loving it with all my heart, the opportunity had never presented itself at the right time and right place to immerse myself in the field of bluebonnets before. All things considered they’re finicky little creatures. They only come out and bloom when the weather, temperature, defrosted ground is juuuust right. They’re only here for a few weeks, and then they fade away as the Texas sun heats up into summer.
When is Bluebonnet Season
Bluebonnet season is typically about six weeks from March till mid-April. The peak season is usually in April. According to the Texas Wildflower Report, bluebonnet season should be especially good (and potentially early!) this year! Here’s the Facebook so you can get the latest updates.
It’s somewhat of a sport to spot the first bluebonnet and track the progress of these blooms. You can call the Texas Department of Transportation Wildflower Hotline (800-452-9292) for updates. YES THAT’S A THING. Or you can do what I did and stalk bluebonnet blogs and forums to get details and recommendations and triangulate the best locations for cute red and white barns for backdrops in the Hill Country.
Where to Find Bluebonnets in Texas
Bluebonnets in Texas appear anywhere and everywhere. You’re not allowed to pick them (state rules!!) but they’re most prevalent in the Texas Hill Country, South Texas and as far west as Big Bend Park. This Texas Hill Country blog lists out a excellent list of places and locations across Brenham, Ennis, Marble Falls, Kingsland and Burnett, Texas.
If you’re looking to do a weekend away in the Hill Country (recommendations here!), there are plenty of bluebonnet fields nearby to adventure too. Brenham has a Wildflower Watch blog. Ennis has 40 miles of bluebonnet trails. Burnett Texas even hosts a Bluebonnet Festival the second weekend of April each year! This Facebook page with 50K followers posts updates to bluebonnet sightings.
Bluebonnet season in Texas is nothing to mess around with.
Driving down the highway fields of bluebonnets extend as a far as the eye can see. Unfortunately, most of these delightful blossoms are on private property, and thus would not recommend pulling over on the side of a busy highway to jump a fence and risk trespassing on a gun toting Texans land. Although, I’m sure they would be very nice given the circumstances.
The place I was searching out was the First Baptist Church Chappell Hill (exact address: 7675 Farm to Market 2447, Chappell Hill, TX 77426.). I was able to triangulate it off a series of Instagram posts and bluebonnet blogs. The First Baptist Chruch Chappell Hill offers parking, luscious fields of bluebonnet and an adorable red barn and white church to frame photographs and add dimensions. Note: In 2019 this barn was allegedly sold and they mowed over all the bluebonnets. TBD if that will be the case for 2020.
Bluebonnets in Houston
You can also find bluebonnets in Houston! Wildflowers pop-up all over the place and you can usually catch some beautiful shots of the Houston downtown skyline as well. Here are where to find bluebonnets in Houston:
- Buffalo Bayou – especially at the intersection of Jackson Hill and Memorial and Waugh and Memorial
- White Oak Bayou – especially on the trail near 610
- Terry Hershey Park
- North Brasewood and Stella by the railroad tracks inside the loop
Comment below with other good Houston bluebonnet locations!
Bluebonnet Photo Tips
Like most photo shoots, snapping bluebonnet pictures are not as glamorous as you think. That’s what the editing and filters are for afterwards. Here’s some tips that I would recommend when heading out there:
- Wear good shoes – like cowboy boots! When I went it was SO MUDDY. I had like 5 inches of mud (no joke) caked to the bottom of my sneakers. They were so heavy and legit sticking into the ground. Don’t bother with heels or cute flats. You won’t see them anyways (flowers go up mid-shins) and you’ll probably ruin them.
- Bring sunglasses. Whether you wear them in the pictures or not, they’re helpful to have on hand. The day I went the field was windy af and my eyes were watering. The sunglasses helped shield from the high wind.
- Don’t be afraid to get dirty. Even if it didn’t rain recently and there’s not mud, there’s still a chance of getting grass stains and a bit dirty. Do it for the gram. Sit in the fields. Run around. Kiss someone you love. That’s part of the experience!
- Take LIVE photos. You don’t have to have a professional photographer to get the perfect shot. If you take a “LIVE” photo on an iPhone you can inch the frame backwards and forwards to get the exact moment when the wind died down and your hair or dress laid particularly flat.
- Shoot with the sun at your back. Figure out where it is in the sky and angle yourself accordingly so you’re illuminated and don’t have back light overwhelming the frame.
- Make friends! During peak bluebonnet season there’s probably a bunch of other people out there taking photos (especially if you go somewhere easily accessible and public like the First Baptist Church Chappell Hill). Introduce yourself and offer to take their photo in exchange for them taking yours. Texans are friendly 🙂
- Be safe! Bluebonnets pop up everywhere, but make sure that you’re not crossing traffic or parking your car in some sketch area to get the shot off a highway. The red barn at Chappell Hill was nice because we were out of the way of oncoming traffic.
- Be respectful. Don’t smash the flowers. Don’t go onto private property. Don’t leave trash. Leave the place better than you found it.
What to Wear in Bluebonnet Pictures
The classic outfit that you’ll see over and over again in bluebonnet pictures is some combination of white denim, white linen, flowy sundresses, cowboy boots and matching outfits. Honestly, a lot of bluebonnet photo shoots remind me of what people wear to the Houston rodeo. Here are some recommendations of what to wear when you go take pictures of bluebonnets in Texas.