Mood Indigo

The profusion of Texans’ favorite wildflower implies an extravagant ease of being. In fact, the bluebonnet’s existence is hardscrabble and full of peril. Timing of rain is the crucial element. Too much summer rain can fool bluebonnets; they sprout prematurely and die before they bloom. Conversely, fall and winter drought can be ruinous.

Salado Days

Most Texans have a favorite small town. Mine is Salado, a community set among oaks andlimestone springs 45 miles north of Austin off Interstate 35—”About a quarter of a milefrom Resume Speed,” we always said.


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