North Texas Bluebonnets 2023
It’s Springtime in Texas so naturally it’s time for a bit of bluebonnet hunting!
In recent years we’ve tried to branch out and visit some of the southern bluebonnet destinations like Hill Country or Brenham, but with our oldest in Kindergarten this year it makes it difficult to travel other than weekends and holidays. I suppose our mid-March Spring Break would have been decent timing for heading down south for early Brenham bluebonnets but we had opted to spend that week getting rained on in California.
Anyway, we decided to visit our local spots instead of trying to arrange last-minute weekend getaways across Texas. It turned out to be a stellar year at Grapevine Lake and Ennis was decent as well.
It was an amazing year for bluebonnets at my favorite spot along Grapevine Lake. It was by far the best coverage I’ve ever seen there and we happened to pick the perfect evening to visit with a beautiful lingering sunset. I stopped by again a few days later but it was both windier and cloudier so these images are all from my first sunset at the lake.
Even if we had made it to Brenham or Hill Country, it’s highly likely I would have still found my way to Ennis as well.
Unfortunately, that whole Kindergarten thing makes it more difficult to travel to Ennis during the week—it’s not impossible, but would just require some additional family planning and coordination. In the end, I was too noncommittal about weekday weather and sunset potential so we didn’t end up venturing down to Ennis until we were almost out of time for peak flowers, which was the weekend of Ennis’ Annual Bluebonnet Festival.
My in-laws were kind enough to take the kids for an overnight so my husband and I spent all of Saturday afternoon checking out the festival and scouting photo locations, and then did some sunset photos together and I went out again in the morning while he was snoozing.
For 2023, I decided my favorite scenic fields were the hilly ones on Sugar Ridge Road which is a fairly popular spot due to both the livestock and the unfenced fields which are good for portraits. We left a few hours before sunset and drove a winding path along the bluebonnet trails looking for longhorns in bluebonnet fields before heading back to Sugar Ridge for late afternoon light.
Unsurprisingly, there were a LOT of people at Sugar Ridge Road on the Saturday night of the bluebonnet festival, including some people doing wedding portraits and even someone busking (probably the first time I’ve found that at a bluebonnet field). Conditions were scenic but crowded, so I decided I’d return in the morning since it was my favorite scenic field in Ennis this year.
Unlike the crowded Saturday night sunset, the sunrise brought only a handful of landscape photographers and a single portrait session. I got some nice shots of sunrise over the bluebonnets and got to check out a bunch of different angles that wouldn’t have been possible the night before. After that I took another drive through through the backroads looking for interesting livestock in flowers photos, but eventually ended up shooting some pictures of the new water tower and calling it a day.