No matter how harsh the winter, the signs of spring always come early at Texas Highways. When most folks are singing Auld Lang Syne, we’re anticipating wildflower season, with visions of warm days and flowery fields dancing in our heads.

This year, we celebrate 40 years of the Texas Highways wildflower tradition starting on page 40, with six spreads of vibrant springtime photographs and a few of our favorite bloom observations from years past. And at The University of Texas at Austin Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, we’re showcasing a retrospective exhibit of images over the decades: 40 Years of Oohs and Aahs runs from April 19 through May 25. The Center’s McDermott Learning Center will display an inspiring selection of Texas Highways‘ wildflower images, including the lively scenes of relative newcomers like Theresa DiMenno and the classic bluebonnet-blanketed landscapes of longtime (and long-ago) contributors like the late Jack Lewis. Lewis’ artistry launched TH into the forefront of landscape photography in the 1970s and helped define the magazine’s look for decades.

Back in the day, the affable Lewis report­edly liked to keep secret the exact locations of his favorite wildflower spots. But in the age of information-sharing, we hope you check out for the scoop on this year’s wildflower sightings, drives, and events. And we’re looking forward to your tips on this year’s flower hotspots and your photos of nature’s displays, wherever they show up this season. Drop us a line at [email protected], or find us on Face book.

One of the most amazing recollections we’ve received came from a reader in Childress, who credited a patch of bluebonnets with saving his life as his vehicle careened off the road: “My car had stopped just five feet short of 12 majestic live oak trees,” he recalled in a letter in 2002. “[The bluebonnets] were so thick that spring they wrapped around all four of my tires and pulled me to a complete stop.”

Perhaps that’s nature’s way of reminding us all to slow down and enjoy spring’s bounty.

From the April 2014 issue
The June 2024 cover of Texas Highways: Treasures from the Coast

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