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5/17/2016 3:12 PM

Texas Natural Beauty!

Photo taken 5/16/2016 along FM-479 north of US 290.

Field Trip: 5/16/2016
Locations: Kerr, Kimble and Mason Counties
Routes: I-10, FM-479, FM-385, FM-1871, RR-386, Old Katemcy RD, Blackjack RD.

Monday, I took a pre-rainy week ahead trip out to Mason and along the way found some real Texas Natural Beauty! Along many of the routes I took, I saw an explosion of wildflower color.  Red, white and yellow spotted with blue-purple were the main colors. Mealy blue sage, greenthread, firewheels and what I think is prairie bishop were the main wildflowers in bloom. The median and shoulders of I-10 from Leon Springs to Comfort really surprised me with numerous long stretches of basket flower and horsemint. I was headed to Mason County to check on a county road there and wanted to take the northern route via US 377, but as I approached the exit to Texas 41, I started seeing large areas of white mixed with firewheels even out into fields. The coverage continued to increase as I approached and passed the exit for US-290. So I took that next exit and headed back towards 290 via FM-479. As I got closer to 290, the coverage along the roadsides increased.  I photographed a really nice field of mealy blue sage mixed with blooming yellow prickly pear cactus.  Then I came to the scene in the photo above with the windmill.  I should have remained in that area, but I really wanted to get to Mason County, so I took FM-385 north from US 290 and then FM-1871. FM-1871 had some long stretches of roadside thickly covered with a variety of wildflowers including firewheels and some purple horsemint. I also saw some large fields mostly covered with what looked to me like greenthread (Thelesperma filifolium)- turns out it is probably brown/basil bitterweed, Helenium amarum var. badium. Once again, I think I should have worked that area, but I wanted to move on to the county road off of RR-386 north of Mason which turned out to be not so great. I did find one of the largest fields of yellow (greenthread?) that I have ever seen along RR-1222 east of Katemcy. 

Summary of best routes:

I-10: median and shoulders are times thick with a variety of wildflowers. Best areas between Leon Springs and Comfort and north of Kerrville to the US 290 exit.
FM-479: Some mealy blue sage in fields and at times roadsides thick with wildflowers.
FM-385: Not that much compared to the other routes, but some nice landscape views.
FM-1871: Lots of stretches with good color mix, a few large fields with yellows. Many small stretches of purple horsemint. Some really awesome hillside vista views.
FM-122: Large field of yellow east of Katemcy at intersection with Blackjack RD.

Mealy blue sage along FM-479, 5/16/2016

Multi-image panorama taken with phone of the large field of yellow - brown bitterweed.  Click the image for the full 1920 pixel wide image.

Purple Horsemint Cavalry at the Fence - taken 5/15/2016 along RR-1871 southwest of Mason, Texas.

New Post
5/17/2016 3:55 PM


Lovely windmill and wildflower photo.  Unfortunately or fortunately these wonderful May flowers never draw like the April bluebonnets.  It takes a lot more sweat equity to get photos like this one.wink

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5/17/2016 7:30 PM

Thank Murry,

Yeah you are correct! The web traffic drops off dramatically from 600 to 800 a day to less then 300 a day as soon as the bluebonnets fade away. Yet in some ways the end of April and May are better months for my trips out.  I am not spending several hours a day answering feedback messages about when and where to go to see the bluebonnets.  There are a few dedicated enthusiasts/photographers like you and me who still hang around for the May wildflower show.  ;)

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