You didn't ask a question! That means Mr. Smarty Plants gets to talk about whatever he wants to. I think I'll talk about blooms and pruning of Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain laurel).
First, about the blooms. 2014 was not a good year for mountain laurel blooms. The ones in my yard did not bloom at all and the ones I saw at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center had very few or no blooms. Why? Probably the drought, but who knows for sure. Hopefully they are storing energy for a really good show next spring. The pods you describe sound like seed pods left over from last year.
As for pruning the low hanging limbs, here is a previous Mr. Smarty Plants answer that pretty thouroughly answers that question.