I had one shoe on and one shoe off this morning when Mary Ann called frantically. The county work crew was mowing the roadside. She was panicked. This year, after several years of effort, our front yard had a beautiful solid patch of bluebonnets, unfortunately on the county’s side of the front fence. The bluebonnets had passed their peak and the flowers were in the process of making seed pods. Probably a third of the blooms were gone. The lifecycle goes blooms to seedpods, and then when they mature and dry, the pods themselves act like a catapult and scatter the seeds.

Unfortunately, our bluebonnets weren’t mature yet. Mow them down and they won’t reseed. The mowing crew were likely to set our flower patch back a few years. We used to have a nice solid red patch of Indian Paintbrush, but a friendly neighbor who just wanted to help out, mowed it down a couple of years ago and they haven’t recovered.

I slipped on the shoe and ran up the hill, yelling as the mowers reached our driveway. I don’t know if he heard me or now, but instead of mowing down the whole patch, he trimmed a two foot swath next to the asphalt. The two mowers went on down to the end of the road and started coming back.

Mary Ann drove up in her car and we waited together, ready to defend the flowers. “They’re mowing down the yellow flowers!” And they were. I headed toward the mower, waving him off, but not quickly enough to save the yellow patch. He pulled to a stop, a little irritated at me for not recognizing that he’d avoided the bluebonnets. I was a little single minded. No, you can’t mow here.

We watched until they moved on to the next street. Our bluebonnets will probably live to reseed again. I just wish it didn’t have to be a yearly struggle to preserve them.


  1. Henry Melton, Eco Warrior! Fight for those flowers. I missed seeing bluebonnets so far this year as I have been out of state. Normally I would see them going to AggieCon but I got sick that weekend and didn’t go. Keep them safe!

  2. Yes, I remember those trips to College Station, always just as the flowers came out. On the last few trips I made, I changed my route so that I came through the solid colored fields north of Brenham. Unfortunately, I haven’t been to AggieCon in a long time. From what I’ve heard, it’s changed quite a bit.

  3. And that’s what happened when we lost the red flowers. We arrived home just a little too late. And travel is a given. Already I’m 500 miles away from where I was this morning.

  4. Maybe you can post a big sign if you have to be gone next year. Or set up your own little fence.

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