Bluebonnets are the Texas state flower and they deserve the honor, but there is another wildflower that beautifies the Texas countryside as well, and I don’t feel it gets the attention it deserves. It is the Indian paintbrush, NOT to be confused with Indian blanket, which is a whole different flower.
Contrary to what most people believe, including Texans, bluebonnets do NOT grow everywhere in Texas. East Texas, with all its virtues and attributes, was left out when God decided where to plant His beautiful bluebonnet. But He did give us just-as-pretty Indian paintbrush, and we are lucky enough to have a glorious patch of these right in our backyard! (Actually, our back pasture, if you want to get technical.)
I knew they were back there, but I experienced them up close and personal the other day when I went down to the old chicken pen to cut some chicken wire for some projects.
This shot was taken in front of the big brush pile that serves as our firewood source. Most of it came from a huge oak tree my parents had cut down after it died. I spent many an hour in that tree when I was growing up!
The paintbrushes spread across my parents’ and our neighboring pastures. Our five-acre lots sit next to each other. Good thing we get along well!
Closer up you can see why these little beauties are called paintbrushes. Their petals could very easily be used to paint with! (Is that a preposition I ended that sentence with?) Possibly the Native Americans (Indians) in this area used them with homemade paint before the settlers came.
So vivid. When you see them growing alongside bluebonnets, the scene resembles the Texas flag!
You have to admit, those bluebonnets and Indian paintbrushes are quite a sight to behold together. It kind of makes you proud to be a Texan. Or wish you were one.
And, hey, take all the pictures you want, but please don’t pick the flowers!