Not All Who Wander Are Lost…Texas Hill Country

IMG_9094e

We moved here exactly one year ago, the first thing all the Texans talked about was seeing the Bluebonnets!

Everyone would ask me, have you seen the Bluebonnets yet? We had only been here a couple of days…smile.

We didn’t get a chance to take a drive and see these incredible beauties. We had a house to buy and unpacking to be done.

So when spring rolled around this year, we made it a priority to take a drive to Hill Country to see these beautiful specimens.

As soon as we started to see the hills, look who was here to greet us…The Texas Longhorns! As a Hoosier almost all my life, this was quiet the treat. He just stopped and posed for me. I LOVE being a Texan!

IMG_9111e

Texas wouldn’t be Texas without wildflowers in the spring. Bluebonnets, Indian paintbrush, and evening primrose burst forth throughout Texas from March until May. Spectacular displays of wild flowers are abundant throughout the Lakes and Hills region. The optimum time for viewing wild flowers in the Hill Country is usually the first few weeks of April.

Bluebonnets have been loved since man first trod the vast prairies of Texas. Native Americans (Texans) wove fascinating folk tales around them, crediting them with everything from having natural medicinal qualities to being spiritual messengers sent from the heavens. The early-day Spanish priests gathered the seeds and grew them around their missions to beautify. This practice gave rise to the myth that the padres had brought the plant from Spain, but the two predominant species of bluebonnets are found growing naturally only in Texas and at no other location in the world.

Just how the delicate blue beauty became the official state flower is a little-known story worth repeating. Back on 1901, when the matter was up for a vote in the state legislature, the bluebonnet was running second to the cotton flower and the bloom of the Prickly Pear advocated by John Nance Garner. Garner,  who later became vice-president of the United States, lost out on his flower of choice and managed to be tagged with a nickname, “Cactus Jack”, for his unsuccessful efforts.

It seems a ladies group had been lobbying for the bluebonnet, which, in the end, finally came to be known as the official flower of Texas.

Following the legislature’s decision, however, another debate raged for decades as to which species of Bluebonnet was the actual state flower. In 1971 it was finally settled when the legislature decided that all six species of the bluebonnet would be known as the official state flower(s) of Texas. THANK GOODNESS!

The bluebonnet is to Texas what the shamrock is to Ireland, the cherry blossom to Japan, the lily to France, the rose to England and the tulip to Holland. – Jack Maguire

IMG_9120e

IMG_9130e

Can you believe this General Merchandise Store still exists? About took my breath away.

IMG_9148e

We made this trip a double duty…one to see the Bluebonnets and the other to visit the Round Top Antiques Fair!

Twice a year Round Top is host to one of the nation’s largest antique events. The show started in 1967 with 22 dealers at the Round Top Rifle Hall. The Original Round Top Antiques Fair is still the first full weekend in April and October. Because of its success, many other shows open prior to it and now include the towns in a 10-mile radius of Round Top.

Some call this a “flea market” but it is not what one thinks of in the traditional sense of a flea market. There are only antiques and antique related items, and yes, some are new, but the vast majority are not. The exhibitors come from all over the United States, Canada, Mexico and Europe with items as varied as old tools, architectural pieces, furniture, collectibles, artwork, fine china, jewelry and silver.

The locations for the shows are as varied as the dealers exhibiting. Some are in dance hall, some under football field-size tents, and still others fill fields, but all have treasures. Even the most dedicated shopper cannot possibly see everything in one day, as there is so much to see and more arriving daily.

IMG_9154e

IMG_9156

IMG_9161

IMG_9167

One of the highlights of the trip was visiting the Junk Gypsies Store! Have you heard of the Junk Gypsies? They are VERY popular here in Texas.

Junk Gypsies features designers Amie Sikes and Jolie Sikes as they take their rebellious independent spirit and unusual design philosophy on a special mission to find junk and use it to transform homes. The Junk Gypsies, whose clientele includes country music stars and Hollywood actors, have a large and passionate social media fan base of fellow design rebels who first discovered them from Gypsyville.com. Finding beauty and value in items that would otherwise end up in the trash, these sisters are raucous and rowdy treasure hunters or whimsical and colorful designer/decorators, but they are definitely not antiquers or pickers.

You can see them on HGTV or Great American Country TV channels.

IMG_9169

This is part of their store front…just loved the little silo with this adorable saying!

There really just isn’t enough words to express how BIG this event is. Just think Disney World, without the glitz and no map to follow!!!

Seriously, we walked about 10 rows and I looked at Tarzan and said, “I can’t do this anymore!” He looked at me like I had just lost my mind! Tarzan said, “We haven’t even seen 10% of the fair!” Honey, Jane is pooped! I have taken on more than I can chew. Tarzan says, “Next time we are getting you a scooter!” Smile…

So the question is…are you a junker?

Laurie
XXOO

Advertisements

45 thoughts on “Not All Who Wander Are Lost…Texas Hill Country

  1. I love both: wildflowers and Antiques Fair!
    I have a nice Antiques shop 5 minutes away from where I live… I visit weekly or even more oftenly… there is always something new (but still Antique:) to be seen! Fascinating!
    If you will ever visit Italy ( Rome area), I would be be happy to be your guide and host.
    Cheers!

  2. Bluebonnets are gorgeous. I don’t think I’m a junker BUT I love to see what someone’s imagination can do with something that would never have occurred to me. A segway would work next time to get around. Maybe they should consider renting them. 🙂

  3. Oh I love the blue bonnets!! In fact I was just in that area just to see them. Traveled from NM just to visit the blue bonnets. So jealous that you get to live near them! Beautiful photos by the way!

  4. oh and isn’t some one ALWAYS walking off with the very thing one would have wanted to buy 😉
    Super pictures of the market Laurie . I do love those bluebonnets … the colour en masse is astonishing …

  5. Oh, it’s been so many years since we’ve been to the Hill Country. We’ll have to go back one of these days and will definitely have to plan it around this antiques fair! So beautiful and such fun! 🙂

  6. Laurie, what a great job you’ve done showing some of what makes Texas so special. I hated missing Round Top this year, but I chose that week to be sick and didn’t make it. I’m glad I got to visit through your photos.

  7. All of these images are absolutely stunning! I remember my years living in Texas and the Blue Bonnets definitely do draw a crowd! They are a favorite spot for family photo sessions.

  8. I’m always jealous of the bluebonnet photo sessions that many Texan Photographers have each year. They really are gorgeous! All of these images are so beautiful!

  9. The Hill Country is something special to see in spring. I am so glad that as a new Texas you now have seen the bluebonnets. We have some along the highways down here. I am a bit of a junkie but I am trying to do better! Gorgeous photos! I love the naturalness of the wildflowers scattered across the pastures.

  10. Great collection of photos! Will get a chance to visit Texas this summer – for a few short days. Have some dear friends in Abilene. I love the old antique/junk shops! And the quote on the junk gypsy store is one of my all time favorites!

  11. So you moved to Texas a year ago! We moved within Texas a year ago, from Karnes City to Fredericksburg. Isn’t the Hill Country beautiful? Especially now, in wildflower season?
    Have a great week,
    Pit

  12. A very enjoyable post, beautifully illustrated. I’m enjoying my visits to your blog! Do you know the Nanci Griffiths Bluebonnet song? Regards from Thom at the immortal jukebox.

  13. What great photos! Love the one of the longhorn. I would love to go to that antique fair, I bet there were all kinds of treasures to find. Looks like you had a wonderful time.

  14. Fantastic representation of Texas! I would love to be a Texan too! Gorgeous photos Laurie!! Thanks for sharing beautiful blooming Texas with us! Hugz Lisa and Bear

Please share your thoughts...and thank you for the love!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: