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3/19/2018 1:30 PM
 

Texas Wildflower Trip Report: Rosenberg to Poteet


*** WARNING: This report contains graphically disturbing information. Read at your own risk, especially if you are prone to fainting spells, nausea, or anxiety attacks! ***

Trip Date: 3/17/2018

Routes:

Alt 90 from Rosenberg,
Texas to Seguin, Texas;
Texas 123 south of Seguin to FM 1681
FM 1681 to about 2 miles south
FM 467 west of Seguin to New Berlin to Sweet Home RD to Church RD
FM 775 to La Vernia
US 87 from La Vernia to Sutherland Springs
FM 539 from Sutherland Springs to Texas 97
Texas 97 to Floresville to Pleasanton
FM 476 to Poteet
Texas 16 from Poteet to Jett RD
Jett RD to Loop 1604 to Texas 16 to I-410.
Total Miles traveled: 233+

Short Story

I saw very few large displays of wildflowers and more small fields or small patches along the routes that I traveled. The routes were covered in green vegetation, but color from wildflowers was sporadic. The most abundant wildflowers were false garlic in the ditches along Alt 90, Texas Groundsel, white prickly poppy, and spider lilies (in eastern sections of Alt 90). I also saw patches of Texas paintbrush, phlox and verbena, sandyland bluebonnets and the lupinus texensis variety of bluebonnets. The coverage of wildflowers and variety increased west of I-37 which matches what the data has predicted.  However, based on my many years traveling these routes, what I saw was not even at average levels. For someone new to Texas Wildflowers, there were some nice spots here and there, but for the regular wildflower photographer it was disappointing.  Also, although I covered over 200 miles of routes, there are many more miles of wildflower routes out there that might do better.  I have had reports of nice stretches/stands of bluebonnets in Bastrop, along US 79 near Rockdale, and US 290 near Brenham.  The point being that there are some spots out there with bluebonnets, but there likely will not be the widespread large displays we have seen in the past. 

Full Story

  • Alt 90: For those of us who have been actively hunting and photographing wildflowers for many years, the coverage of bluebonnets along Alt 90, especially near Gonzales and Hallettsville was the worse I have ever seen. I think I counted 4 or 5 small patches of bluebonnets which were in full bloom along Alt 90.  In the median of Alt 90 in Gonzales, I saw very few blooms. 
  • Texas 123: If there were any blooms of any wildflowers I did not see them.
  • FM 1681: This is the location for the “Storming Bluebonnets” photo I took in 2014. In 2018, I did not spot any plants much less blooms. I pulled over but did not get out of the car to check closely, but I could not spot any plants from the car.
  • FM 467: Patches of phlox and verbena
  • Sweet Home RD – Church: Very little color
  • Church RD: The field at Church RD had some phlox and verbena, but very little color compared to previous years. The Church has some phlox, but if there was any paintbrush I could not see it.
  • La Vernia: This community was known for its displays of phlox, but I saw very little and what I saw was on the south end of the town along US 87.
  • FM 539 and Texas 97: Mostly bare, but with some small areas of Texas Groundsel and white prickly poppies in fields.
  • Texas 16 from Poteet to Jett RD: Well below average. I saw one small area of sandyland bluebonnets. White prickly poppies seemed to be the most numerous.
  • Jett RD and Texas 16: One part of that really nice field at Jett RD and 16 has been plowed. The other part that runs along Jett RD only had a sprinkling of bluebonnets.
  • Jett RD: One nice field of what looked like verbena where Jett RD makes the first bend to the left. I did not see much in the way of bluebonnets. The large field before the cemetery did not have any visible blooms. The cemetery has a mixture of wildflowers, but only a few bluebonnets.

Conclusion:

There are wildflowers out there in bloom. The bluebonnets I saw along Alt 90 was close to or at full bloom. The coverage and number of displays is well below average. That said there are still some nice small scenes out there. The cemetery at the Lutheran Church along Church RD in New Berlin had some nice small scenes of phlox mixed in with verbena.  Here and there, I saw large patches of phlox as well as verbena.  However, overall the routes I traveled were well below average for this time of year. The shocking thing for me was the lack of large stretches of bluebonnets along any part of Alt 90 from Rosenberg to Seguin.  And I saw several miles of Alt 90 had been mowed recently probably due to the grass and other vegetation.  What does this mean? It means we will likely have to look harder for large displays of wildflowers especially bluebonnets in the South Texas and Coastal Bend areas. Based on a few reports I have seen or been given there are some out there developing.  I just did not come across any during this one trip. 
One of the things working against any really large dramatic displays of any wildflower is the lack of rain since the first of the year.  Although there have been some areas at or slightly above average rainfall most of Texas has been at or below normal rainfall from Jan 1 to Mar 19, so we need more rain, sunshine and warming temperatures at this time.  See rainfall map below:

Year to Date Departure from Normal Rainfall

Next Trips:

I hope to make a trip down SW of San Antonio to the areas between Texas 16 and I-35 and also take a short trip up into the Hill Country.   
Check here and on our Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/TexasWildflowerReport/) for the latest reports and do not forget our eBooks (http://www.wildflowerhaven.com/eBooks) with maps and routes with descriptions.

 

 

 
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