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5/6/2016 12:06 PM
 

Wildflower Fire Spreading Through Mason County

Field Report: 5/5/2016
Locations: Mason County


Field of firewheels along US 87 about 11 miles east of Mason.  Click for larger 1920 pixel wide view.

Yesterday (5/5/2016), I traveled through several of the key routes in Mason County. Along each route, I found roadsides ignited with wildflowers and fields ablaze in red, white, yellow with some blues and purples. Bring up a map of Mason County, close your eyes and point to the map. Drive the closest road to where your finger lands on the map and you will find wildflowers, especially firewheels and lazy daisies. While you might not find a solid coverage along every inch of a road, it will not take you long to find a large stretch of wildflowers either lining the road or stretching through a field.  The panorama photo above, taken with my phone, shows a large field covered with firewheels. You can find this field along US 87 about 11 miles east of the town of Mason.

I started my journey on RR-783 going north from I-10 at Kerrville. I traveled this same route on 4/8/2016, but saw very little in bloom at that time. Oh what a month can make. This time I saw numerous stretches of mealy blue sage before and after Harper.  Once I passed Doss and entered Mason County, the roadsides exploded with color. Surprisingly, I saw bluebonnets in full bloom along long stretches of RR-783 before and after Threadgill Creek RD. I have seen bluebonnets remain until the first week in May before as in 2007. What surprised me the most is that these bluebonnets lined the edges of the road where you would expect them in the early stages of the season and not now in May.  The bluebonnet blooms looked fairly good considering they were at peak. Firewheels, and other wildflowers pushed right up next to the roadside bluebonnets and covered the rest of the shoulders of RR-783 out and beyond the fences.

Summary of roads traveled

  • RR-783 from Mason County line to US 87: Roadside mixture of wildflowers with firewheels often the prominent color and some color moving beyond the fences.
  • US 87 from RR-783 to Mason:  Several large fields of firewheels with a sprinkling of other color mixed in at times.
  • Texas 29 to RR-1900:  Nothing like US 87, but a some firewheel roadsides and fields at times. 
  • Church at Art: Sorry, but the field in front of the church at Art was still mostly grass with some firewheels.  I did not see most to put into a photo.
  • RR-1900 north from Texas 29: Mostly roadside red from firewheels with some dusting of other wildflowers.
  • RR-2618: More roadside red, but also a few fields with red and or yellow.  County roads off RR-2618 might be worth a check.
  • Fly Gap RD: Oh Wow! The section beginning at RR-2618 to a few miles north had field after field with red, white, and yellow. The middle section looked strangely bared at times. The final leg of Fly Gap RD provided much the same as the beginning leg.
  • Texas 71: Some roadside with red, but nothing made me want to stop. 
  • Hickory Grove RD from Texas 71 to Texas 29:  Not enough to warrant traveling this very rough road.
  • Art-Hedwigs RD:  The section right at the intersection with US 87 had large fields of red with other wildflowers mixed along the roadsides. I did not travel the rest of Art-Hedwigs RD to Texas 29, so there might be more.
  • RR-1723 and James River Road:  Some firewheels along roadsides and other wildflowers as along other roads, but the main color along James River RD is yellow from bitterweed or greenthread.

Bloom status

Most of what I saw was at full bloom.  The firewheels at the stops I made looked really good. The fields at Art-Hedwigs did have more noticeable blooms without petals. This weekend through early next week would be the best time for any close-in wide angle landscape shots. With rain in the forecast I would think we will see good color at least until the May 15th.

Additional photos:

Fly Gap RD: http://www.pbase.com/richo/image/163197643/original
Fly Gap RD: http://www.pbase.com/richo/image/163174937original
RR-783: http://www.pbase.com/richo/image/163160296/original

 

 
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5/14/2016 4:29 PM
 

Rich.

Nice photo and report as usual.  I'd love to be able to get over yo iur way to shot some photos but I'll have do the ones close to home for now.  This is a great time of year for wildflowers before the blistering summer heat sets in to slow the flowers and viewers.  I left a short report and a link to some photos from yesterday while in Conroe.  I'm looking forward to seeing the rest of your photos!!

 

Murry


http://grigsbys.smugmug.com/Photography-by-Murry-Grigsby/Flowers/Wildflowers
 
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5/14/2016 8:02 PM
 

Thanks Murry,

The rains have certainly helped and I am hoping the coreopsis will soon take the curtain call.  I am hoping to swing through your area soon on my way to or from Dallas.  And later I hope the bluebell gentians will show up.

 
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