April in Texas: Loveliest of Flowers #AtoZChallenge

 

Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.

Now, of my threescore years and ten,
Twenty will not come again,
And take from seventy springs a score,
It only leaves me fifty more.

And since to look at things in bloom
Fifty springs are little room,
About the woodlands I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow.

~ A. E. Housman

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I’ve signed on to participate in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge this month, and this is Day A: April.

Content was never in question: I post A. E. Housman’s “Loveliest of Trees” nearly every year at bluebonnet time as a reminder to seize the day, to get out and see beauty while it’s here–while we’re here.

Be sure to read–or at least scroll–to the bottom of the page. There’s an unexpected treat–not just a bunch of blue flowers.

Here’s a link to the A to Z Challenge Master List-links to the nearly 700 blogs taking part in the challenge.

A short analysis of  “Loveliest of Trees” appears at Interesting Literature.

Info about 2018 bluebonnet sightings can be found at the Texas Wildflower Report on Facebook.

Paintings by Julian Onderdonk.  http://texaspaintings.com/JulianOnderdonk.htm

… by Robert Wood. http://radstudies.tumblr.com/post/146477004552/robert-william-wood-american-1889-1979-texas

… by Porfirio Salinas. https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=Porfirio+Salinas+Bluebonnet+Paintings&id=61B8119D2E9E1BC63C9D221D5774776F07B2D13B&FORM=IDBQDM

 

 

And…

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To see what other bloggers wrote about on Day A, click A2Z.

 

Loveliest, Again

 

Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.

 

Now, of my threescore years and ten,
Twenty will not come again,
And take from seventy springs a score,
It only leaves me fifty more.

 

And since to look at things in bloom
Fifty springs are little room,
About the woodlands I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow.

April in Texas: A Mild Madness

I’ve said before, and loudly, that my Tennessee ancestors must have rolled into Central Texas in April, when the wildflowers were in bloom. Otherwise, like General Philip Sheridan, they would have chosen to rent out Texas and live in Hell.

My friend from Cleveland disagrees. He says the Wallers and the Grahams settled here because, as far as they looked in any direction, they didn’t see snow. He might be right. Perspectives on weather are heavily influenced by experience. I’ve never had to shovel snow, so I feel free to whinge about the heat.

April is a special time here. It’s the month when the landscape explodes with color, and a mild madness descends. People go wildflower hunting. Purists cruise around just looking. Artists set up easels and canvases and palettes and paint en plein air. We all risk snakebite to capture shots of family and friends amongst the bluebonnets.

And I post A. E. Housman’s “Loveliest of Trees” as a reminder that April isn’t forever.

dscn1655

 

This year I’m starting early.  My friend Mary googled “Texas Hill Country Wildflowers” and sent me one of the links: image after image of spring landscapes. I’m sharing it here. The site loads in stages, so patience is called for.

Mary’s Link

https://www.google.comsearch?q=texas+hill+country+wildflowers&client=firefox-a&hs=khH&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=_bZsUeu1FcKXqAHLhYCgDQ&ved=0CD8QsAQ&biw=1280&bih=885

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Austin’s Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, formerly the National Wildflower Research Center, seeks to “increase the sustainable use and conservation of native wildflowers, plants and landscapes.” According to her biographer, Mrs. Johnson’s legacy as First Lady “was to legitimize environmental issues as a national priority. The attitudes and policies she advanced have shaped the conservation and preservation policies of the environmental movement since then.” The Center’s comprehensive website addresses science, history, legislation, tourism, conservation, education–all areas Mrs. Johnson’s interest in the natural environment touched on.

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center http://www.wildflower.org/

 

 

The Texas Hill Country is beautiful in spring, but other parts of the state are just as lovely. Here are some more links to information about the best places to see wildflowers.

Texas Wildflower Heaven
http://www.texaswildflowerheaven.com/

Wildflower Sightings
http://www.wildflowersightings.org/

Texas Bluebonnet Sightings
http://www.texasbluebonnetsightings.com/

Bluebonnet - Image by SarahBelham - via morguefile.com
Bluebonnet – Image by SarahBelham – via morguefile.com

 

 

 

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