Saturday, April 2, 2011

Seeing beauty close to home

Thistle growing behind Holiday Inn
 There was rich irony in our effort to locate wildflowers in Texas.  We drove 1,200 miles from Minneapolis to Austin, both to find some warmth and take in the beauty of the spring wildflowers.  In order to locate the most spectacular wildflowers we took a day trip to the hill country, just west of Austin. This is where they have a spring wildflower festival.  Turns out we were greatly disappointed. Very few flowers were blooming.  We discovered they've had only half the precipitation they normally get, and so the wildflowers weren't doing well this year.  They had a bumper crop the year previous.

Primrose behind parking lot
When we got back to where we were staying, at the Holiday Inn, I hiked around back and found some beautiful flowers scattered among the assorted refuse that often litters areas adjacent to parking lots. Walking a block further I also discovered wildflowers right alongside the highway.

Flowers behind parking lot
Regarding the warm weather... it had been in the 80's and 90's in the days immediately before and after our time in Austin. It was in the 60's while we were there. We tried to lasso some of that warmer weather and bring it north, but to no avail.

We drove through Kansas on our trip home and I recalled a central theme of "The Wizard of Oz", which utilizes Kansas as it's backdrop.  When Dorothy was out seeking a better life elsewhere she was reminded... "there's no place like home."    

Flowers along Interstate 35
So, while we still have snow in Minnesota, it is beautiful to witness the changing of the seasons.  We will enjoy watching the snow gradually melt and the brown turf turn to green.  It will also be exciting to see that first flower pop up after a long winter's nap underground.

There's no place like home, there's no place like home...

Sign along roadside rest in Oklahoma, off Interstate 35

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