There’s nothing friendlier than a Texas roadside sprinkled with bluebonnets. But the second week in February, seriously?
According to Texas Monthly’s John Nova Lomax, who has loosely kept track of the state flower’s first appearance each year, 2017 is a new record for the bluebonnet. Lomax reports that he spotted a bluebonnet Feb. 8, “ahead of all his previous records.”
He spoke with the director of horticulture at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center Andrea DeLong-Amaya who said that because of the “warm, crazy-warm” weather a lot of plants, including bluebonnets, have made an early appearance.
“I don’t want to freak anyone out, but this seems like a clear sign of global warming to me,” Lomax says. According to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center’s website “bloom time” for bluebonnets is March through May. Not February, and definitely not early February. Amaya says it is “a clear sign of the unseasonably, record-breaking heat that we’ve had,” and that the small amount of cold weather we did experience in January served to slow the arrival of spring flora only slightly.
On the upside you can always get your annual bluebonnet photo shoot out of the way a little ahead of schedule.