As soon as bluebonnets begin to pop their lovely deep periwinkle heads up from the Texas Hill Country country roadside, we've been naturally notified:
Spring has sprung in the Hill Country!
We have former first lady, Texas' own bell of the wildflower ball, and perhaps its most influential environmentalist to date, Lady Bird Johnson, to thank for that. Though her efforts were often derided in her day as 'cosmetic', Mrs. Johnson was instrumental in the passing of The $320 million Highway Beautification Bill of 1965, and brought public awareness to the forefront for environmental causes, as well garnering support for the National Parks system. The Johnson City ranch she shared with former President Johnson is one of those parks, now. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, in South Austin, is also a testament to her environmental commitment.
“Every living person and thing responds to beauty. We all thirst for it. We receive strength and renewal by seeing stirring and satisfying sites.”
For thirty years, The Burnet Bluebonnet Festival has been celebrating the legacy of Lady Bird. This year's festival takes place April 12th-14th, and all are welcome!
Of course, not everyone celebrates the emergence of Spring on foot, in dirty sneakers and lily-white ankles, although you're certainly welcomed to do so. Cowboy boots and bedazzled flip flops are the standard. They'll take you as you come, though, even in your city-slickin' finery. The wildflowers won't mind a bit.