Bluebonnets at Lake Grapevine

The weather has been beautiful and the temperature is perfect.  As I picked the kids up from their theater class today, I looked up at this tree and noticed the green leaves, blue sky, and rays of sun. 

That was about all I needed to decide that we needed an impromptu nature hike.  It's about time for bluebonnets to be in bloom so I went over to a little spot on Lake Grapevine to see what it looks like.  One year we came out to take pictures and it was completely flooded.  Some years it is overwhelming with blooms.  Other years it isn't very impressive.  This year probably falls somewhere it the middle.

There are different varieties of bluebonnets but they are all in the genus Lupinus.  Here in Texas, we find these beauties called Lupinus texensis.

The bluebonnet is the state flower of Texas.  While there are rumors that it is against the law to pick bluebonnets, they simply aren't true.  

I love this spot because there is such a contrast between the lush bluebonnets and the dry rocky beach. It makes for unusual pictures and it is just more fun to explore.

In some places it is like God laid down a carpet of bluebonnets!

Of course, we never know what other interesting things we will find here.  Nicholas found this cool green beetle scurrying over the rocks.

We found lots of these burs.  Unfortunately, many of them were stuck to my pants and shirt!

Of course, when near a lake, one must get wet.  Amazingly, the kids stayed pretty dry this time.  They usually get soaked when water is nearby!

Nicholas found three Devil's Toenail fossils, aka gryphaea.

The terrain is rocky and can be rough to walk on in spots so the kids found sticks to use as walking staffs.

Rachel found this cool rock that has an impression in it.  We thought at first that it was an ammonite impression but it could be a regular shell.  Either way, it was cool to see.

A little later, Rachel called to us to see what she found.  A GIANT Devil's toenail!  I've never seen one that big!

I love that my kids have fun exploring and hunting for unusual treasures.  

On our way out, Nicholas found what we think may be two owl pellets.  

He picked one apart and didn't find much inside.  I'm still not 100% sure that these were owl pellets but they might be since they really didn't look like scat.

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