Mission San Juan, December 30, 2017

Mission San Juan, December 30, 2017
Mission San Juan, December 30, 2017

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Where Have All the Flowers Gone? -- Thurs., Mar. 28

"Wildflowers...you HAVE to come in March or April to see all the wildflowers!" So went my conversation with my mom and sister about when to visit Texas. I raved about bluebonnets and fields of yellow flowers. I wanted them to be sure to come in time to see the bluebonnets which we missed last year when we arrived the third week in April.

So here it is, the end of March. Wildflowers are supposed to be blooming, but it's so frickin' cold there's barely any flowers. Oh well, we're having a good time anyway.

On our travel itinerary for today we planned to shop and lunch in Fredericksburg, drive the Willow City Wildflower Loop, and go to Wildseed Farms to see the fields of wildflowers and butterfly garden, and have ice cream cones.

On our way to Fredericksburg we saw a sign for fresh strawberries (U-pick). Strawberries in March??? Wow. In Oregon the strawberries aren't ready until late May or early June. I made an "executive" decision and hijacked mom and Jan to Marburger Orchard where my sister and I picked strawberries. Mom got out of the car, but for some reason the honeybees were attracted to something about her. She had four to six bees after her. She decided to wait in the car. Not to mention it was cloudy with a cold wind blowing. My sister and I had picked strawberries as a summer job when we were teen-agers in Oregon. In no time at all we had picked almost 4 lbs. of berries.

Fredericksburg was a delight as usual. We walked, shopped, tasted samples of sauces, jams and jellies, checked out menus at a few restaurants, saw the Mai Baum (May Pole), and went to Vereins Kirche Museum in the Marktplatz.

Cowhide sofa.

The sign behind us says, "Fresh Roasted Nuts." LOL.
Beautiful dish sets.
Sassy Lassie
Sassy Lassie has a Man Cave in the back of the store complete with TV tuned to sports, a massage chair (pay in 15 min. increments) and an assortment of macho goods.

This way to the Man Cave.
Man Cave
For sale in the Man Cave.
Vereins Kirche Museum
Sculpture behind the museum.
Sculpture behind the Vereins Kirche Museum.
Fredericksburg Mai Baum (May Pole)
Columbine and roses.
For lunch, Mom and Jan liked the menu at the basement Rathskellar restaurant. They ordered a chicken/spinach crepe with ginger carrots. I opted for one of the specials: pecan-crusted chicken with a cream sauce, rice and ginger carrots. Good food.

It's so much fun to have my mom and sister here. We are doing a lot and having fun.

With full tummies, we continued our exploration of Fredericksburg on foot. I walked them past the National Museum of the Pacific War. They were not interested in seeing the museum especially since it takes at least two days to really immerse yourself in the campaigns. We just didn't have that kind of time. Besides we had two bakeries to inspect: Fredericksburg Bakery and Clear River Pecan Co. which just happen to be across the street from each other. We ended up buying goodies in each bakery.

With our late start and time spent shopping, we didn't go to Wildseed Farms today. That is postponed until tomorrow. Maybe more flowers will bloom by then. Ha!

We did, however, go on the Willow City Wildflower Loop drive. In season this loop is supposedly filled with fields of gorgeous wildflowers. Not today. We saw some small yellow flowers, miniscule yellow flowers (we needed a magnifying glass), a few bluebonnets, some white flowers, and a few Texas paintbrush flowers. That's it. Other than that it was a pretty drive, but the flowers just haven't hit their peak. Bob and I will have to come back in about three weeks to see what it looks like and take photos for Mom and Jan to enjoy.

Boots in bloom on the fenceposts.
A nice display of Texas bluebonnets (Lupinis texensis)--
the most we saw in one place.
White Prickly Poppy (Argemone albiflora) AKA Bluestem Prickly Poppy
A gate we like on the scenic drive.
Texas paintbrush (Castilleja indivisa) just budding out.
Also known as entireleaf Indian paintbrush.
Texas Paintbrush and Texas Bluebonnet.
Looks like a wild tulip.
We then headed back to San Antonio. Dinner was enchiladas verdes from Taqueria Guadalajara. Since Mom and Jan have been here we haven't gone for a walk on the Riverwalk just outside our RV park. After dinner, we took about a 3/4 mile walk at dusk. Bats were out catching bugs and we saw a great blue heron and a little blue heron, plus some assorted ducks (it was too dark to tell what kind of ducks). Back at the 5er, we played a round of pinochle, then had strawberry shortcake using our fresh strawberries and chocolate 3-2-1 Cake.

Another good day, but did I mention there was a chill wind? We had mist this morning and this afternoon, plus a short bit of real rain.

I have one more blog to write about YO Ranch (yesterday). I will post it when I have more time.

We'll be up early again tomorrow to see LBJ Childhood Home, LBJ Ranch, Pedernales Falls State Park and Wildseed Farms. Have a good holiday weekend and safe travels.

Travel Bug out.


  1. We drove by Wildseed Farms last week and didn't see anything blooming. I don't recall seeing any bluebonnets at Pedernales Falls State Park, but there are lots of them here at McKinney Falls State Park near Austin. The most we've seen anywhere so far. We really enjoyed our visit at the LBJ sites. We spent about six hours between the two sites. Have fun!

    1. We found a few flowers blooming at Wildseed, but obviously they're just starting up. New blog coming on our visit there.

  2. Another wonderful day of making memories. We really enjoy that area. We went though there two weeks ago... Missed the star berries and blue bonnets... Darn

  3. Great pictures! One year I joined my mom for a spring break trip to Big Bend National Park. She had been there a couple of times before and raved about the flowers. But the year we went, it was so dry that there weren't any. It was beautiful anyway :-)

    Jenny at Choice City Native

    1. When we went to Big Bend last year we had missed the major blooming season, although we did see the giant dagger yuccas blooming on Dagger Flat Auto Road.

      We loved Big Bend. You're right it didn't matter that we missed most of the wildflowers. We also missed most of the people!

  4. One of the best places to see Bluebonnets is the area around Brenham (Chappell Hill, Bellville, etc.) Folks come from all over the world to see 'em. I've given directions to lost Japanese tourists several times when I was out cycling the smaller roads. :)

  5. I always enjoy a day walking around Fredericksburg. I wasn't familiar with the Man Cave. Very clever idea.

    I am surprised the strawberries are already to pick there. We are still trying to get the snow to melt here. Very weird year here in Kansas. So much colder than the norm.

    Have a Happy Easter!

    1. Cheryl,
      According to the farmer, his berries have been ready for two weeks. He said if there is a predicted freeze, he covers his berries. That must be why his berries are ready.

  6. The Willow City Wildflower Loop is great. Did it several times to watch the changing colors. There used to be the Willow city Tavern(or bar - grill). Didn't look great, but busy and you could get a cold one after taking all those pictures. Hope its still there.

  7. It is not just the cooler weather lately; it is the lack of rain that makes the wildflowers less abundant. There are quite a few along 1605 between 35 and 281; not abundant but not bad.

    1. Hi Colleen,
      It seems that every day there are more bluebonnets. They finally saw more wildflowers on their last day.


  8. You, your Mom, and Jan have certainly not let the chilly days slow you down....great tour today. Loved the picture of all the globes. And would love to spend time in the bakeries!
    So sorry you didn't see many wildflowers.

    Happy Easter!

  9. Loved seeing more of Fredericksburg. I enjoyed it so much even though Deb and I only had part of a day. Laughing about the strawberries in Oregon. Mo grew up on the Columbia River and picked strawberries every summer in Vernonia

  10. Re: picking strawberries. The owner of the farm just wouldn't stop instructing us on how to pick berries even when we told him we used to pick berries for a living. Then when we got out to the rows of berries, he had one of his help watch us like a hawk. I don't know if he thought we were going to eat the berries off the bushes or what! Some people.

  11. Wildflowers and strawberries...dreamy! You are the best tour guide and so much to do around there. My aunt would make pie crust, bake on a cookie sheet and then we'd break it all up, added sliced strawberries and spray out some whipped cream like no tomorrow-YUM!!


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