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2013-04-04

Check TxDOT website for wildflower sightings

By Carolyn B. Edwards BCC Staff Writer

To help Texans and tourists find the most picturesque locations, personnel with the Texas Department of Transportation provide seasonal information about wildflower viewing on Texas roads on its website.
Wildflower fans can view TxDOT's Wildflower Program at www.dot.state.tx.us/public_involvement/wildflowers for photos, fun facts and other information about the 5,000 species of wildflowers found around the state. Searchers can search the site by three categories: Wildflower type, Texas county, or Texas roadway, or they can view sightings using the map search.
Alternatively, searchers can call toll-free at 800- 452-9292 for wildflower sightings across the state.
Wildflower information is posted and updated on the site as it becomes available. However, this site shows the best information TxDOT had at the time it was posted, so there are no guarantees.
According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, there is no law against picking a bouquet of wildflowers off the roadsides, including the state flower, the bluebonnet. However, there are some laws wildflower enthusiasts may violate as they gather a handful or two.
There are laws against criminal trespass so make sure you're not on private property when you stop to take your annual kids-in-the-bluebonnets photo.
There are also laws against damaging or destroying rights-of-way and government property - so while it's permissible to pick a few flowers, don't dig up clumps of them and don't drive your vehicle into the midst of them.
Make sure you do not impede traffic while slowing down to enjoy the view; check traffic around you before stopping and remember to use your signals.
DPS advises that you park off the roadway (off of improved shoulders), parallel to the road in the direction of traffic, on the same side of the roadway that the flowers are on. Don't walk or run across lanes of traffic to get to the flowers.
It's also a good idea to check the area for fire ants and snakes before setting the baby down in the midst of a patch of color.

Pictured: Photo by Judith Pannebaker
To find the best place to view Texas' favorite wildflower, the bluebonnet, checkout the Texas Department of Transportation website or simply call 800- 452-9292 for wildflower sightings across the state.

Bottom: Photo by Judith Pannebaker
And, now for something, completely different, we bring you pinkbonnets or pink bluebonnets spotted in Mason several wildflower seasons ago.