Tuesday, April 13, 2010


With one of the best wildflower seasons for many years, yesterday we headed out along Hwy 290 towards Johnson City. The road through Sandy leads to the Willow Loop, a private road with some of the most spectacular flowerings in the hill country. We hadn't been out there for three years. Our last visit in May brought views of amazing hillsides of brilliant yellow coreopsis with fields of purple horsemint. This time we were to see those same hills and roadsides cloaked in bluebonnets.

The bluebonnets were wonderful but for me it was the prickly poppies that stole the show.

Looking down from the top of the hill it was as though the fields were blanketed with snow. I have never seen so many before.

The signs on the road as you enter the loop say no parking. Apparently the property owners own the land right up to the center of the road and if caught parking of road you are liable for a fine. Walk into the fields and a bigger fine. Of course it didn't seem to stop people. Like us they probably didn't know about this until we overheard someone talking about it.

Of course it wasn't all blue and white.

Banks of phlox, Phlox drummondii.
Spanish daggers.

The familiar Texas farmhouse windmill in a field of bluebonnets, phlox and square bud primrose.

Scattered here and there among yucca and spring flowers, the Tasajillo, or Christmas cactus. You can just see its bright red fruits trying to get some attention.
What a wonderful drive. On the way back we stopped at Jack Allen's kitchen in Oak Hill, which we highly recommend, for wonderful appetizers and a margarita. Perfect end to a great day
For another Wildflower tour follow Pam at Digging as she tours the Willow Loop.


  1. Beutiful photos, Jenny.

    I'd never heard of Willow Loop, until this year. It looks like a great place to visit.

    Thanks for sharing,

  2. I've never heard of Willow Loop before either. It looks truly magical. And your photos are excellent. Thanks for taking me along :-)


  3. Breathtaking photographs of a heavenly place. Those poppies are fabulous. Thank you for letting us tag along.

  4. Amazing photos. I am glad to see the wildflowers are coming back around Johnson City. I have not heard of Willow Loop, but one look at those poppies, and I want to find it! It really did look like a sprinkling of snow.

  5. Oh my gosh, words fail me. How magnificent. Thank you for sharing these beautiful pictures.

  6. Beautiful images, Jenny. I recognize a couple of these views from my own tour of the Loop. Thanks for the link, BTW.

    Like you and everyone else, we stopped along the roadside to take pictures or just absorb all the loveliness. Only one curmudgeonly owner tried to stop people from parking alongside his property. He was sitting out there in the prickly poppies in a lawn chair, yelling at anyone who tried to stop. It was really very un-Texan of him, we thought. Other than that it was a perfect day.