Texas Hill Country Wildflower Tour 2017
The Texas Hill Country comes alive each Spring with wildflowers. Wildflower season also coincides with Austin’s SXSW festival, which welcomes worldwide visitors from various industries: high tech, music, film, and the arts. The fact that SXSW happens at the same time is a rainmaker for communities in the Texas Hill Country. Given what I witnessed, the uptick in road traffic in the Hill Country also attracts attention of the Texas Troopers. A word of advice: drive the speed limit, drive friendly, and make sure your insurance is up to date.
Watch for Rattlesnakes
Abundant opportunities exist for you to take pictures of your dog or partner in a field of bluebonnets. I feel the need to warn you, however, that you should wear cowboy boots when walking through wildflowers. Spring not only brings out the bluebonnets and indian paintbrush, but also rattlesnakes. In fact, Taylor Texas has an entire Rattlesnake Roundup each spring to raise the awareness and educate the public on the benefits of rattlesnakes, as well as the dangers.
Stay on the Trails
Besides wearing boots, please stay on the trail if one is provided for you. If you leave the trail, make sure that the area you’re interested in is free of snakes and fire ants. I write from experience with regard to fire ants. Ouch. Fire ants are not worth the shot. I’ve never been bit by a rattlesnake, but I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t want to get bit by one.
The Llano Uplift
I’m biased. I love the land between Llano and Fredericksburg, and over to Marble Falls. The area is referred to as the Enchanted Triangle. The Hill Country extends down to the Bandera region, but I’m biased towards the triangle area surrounding the Enchanted Rock. The rock is a massive granite batholith that has been inhabited for over 2000 years, and there are legends associated with the rock from the Tonkawa, Apache, and Comanche Native American tribes.
Time Travel and Hauntings
Most of the legends are related to the fact that the granite rock expands during the heat of the day and contracts during the cool night. This creates an otherworldly noise akin to a crying woman. There is also a cave in the rock created by weathered fracture, which quite literally, has a legend of time travel. If you enter the cave during a certain time of year and walk to the other side, you will walk through time and space, emerging on another world. Or, if you sleep on the rock and you will be invisible.
Fun and Food
Many visitors come to the Hill Country each spring, creating a boon for local businesses. There are Bed and Breakfast Inns galore, and every town has a cafe with homemade pie, a BBQ joint, and a place that serves cerveza and enchiladas. Each town has it’s own unique character and charm. There are ethnic restaurants of German, Mexican, and Czech heritage. You can find housing both new and old, and old heritage in many antique shops.
Spring Flowers or Fall Leaves
There is not much to say during the fall season about the Texas Hill Country because the native trees don’t change colors. The area comes alive in the Spring, when the roads are lined with flowers and the beauty of the granite uplift is apparent for everyone to see. As a lifelong resident, I personally enjoy the area year round, but Spring in the Texas Hill Country is a special experience. I hope that y’all will visit someday.