I'm a geographer and wildflower enthusiast considering a spring visit to the Austin area and want to find out the best time to view wildflowers and farm crops around Austin and also on the drive from the Ouchitas, say, down to Austin. What are the options?
Bluebonnets and other wildflowers may begin blooming as early as late February and continue blooming until early June. Of course, rainfall and temperature can affect the onset and intensity of blooming; but, the peak usually occurs around the first week of April.
The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is at the edge of the Texas Hill Country and we think the Hill Country has the best wildflower show in the state. Every Spring, in order to help you decide where and when to go to see this beautiful phenomenon, we devote a portion of our website to wildflower sightings in the area. You can view this information, beginning around the middle of March, by browsing the Wildflower Center website and choosing the link from the "What's New" section. Several other groups provide information on sightings and routes for viewing wildflowers. One of these is Lonestar Internet, Inc. When wildflowers begin to bloom around mid-March you can visit "Wildflower and Fall Foliage" in the Travel Section on the Texas Department of Transportation web page to learn of the best wildflower sightings. You can find more routes and information at the Texas Hill Country Wildflower Trail web site. For links to various festivals happening in the Central Texas area you can visit the Fredericksburg Texas Hill Country Festivals page. DeWitt County offers its own wildflower site as does Brenham, Texas in Washington County. On the Brenham page, select "Visitor Information", then "Nature Watch" to find their information on wildflowers.
Your best bet for seeing farm crops in Central Texas is to take US 79 east through Taylor, Rockdale and as far as Hearne. Cotton and maize are two of the crops you can see growing along the highway. Also, at the western edge of Hearne there is a large pecan orchard.
We hope you are planning a visit to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center on your trip to the Austin area.
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