Saturday, April 15, 2017

Turkey Bend

The initial results of my bluebonnet road trip a few weeks ago ranged from pretty but underwhelming (Woodway Park, Muleshoe Bend) to complete bust (Shaffer Bend). I'd noted Turkey Bend Recreation Area as another possibility to check out, but given the conditions at Muleshoe and Shaffer was there really any point? Wouldn't another spot in the same general area look pretty similar?

Well, I reminded myself that I was likely never going to be this close again and decided to just suck it up and check it out.  At worst, I'd waste about half an hour and be on my way.  When I told the gentleman at the gate I was looking for bluebonnets he said they did, indeed, have "some."

That man has a gift for understatement.

Bluebonnets at Turkey Bend Recreation Area
Reaching the shore of the Colorado River I found what I'd been looking for.  A huge patch of bluebonnets covering the area inside the loop road.

Bluebonnets at Turkey Bend Recreation Area
The blue-and-green expanse was broken only by this fallen log.

Bluebonnets at Turkey Bend Recreation Area
This was exactly what I had driven so far to see.  The challenge was not becoming so numb to the spectacle that I was unable to capture it.

Pipevine Swallowtail, Turkey Bend Recreation Area
I wasn't the only one enjoying the scenery, either.  Some Pipevine Swallowtails flitted about, as prone to stopping and just savoring the warm morning as I was.

Pipevine Swallowtail, Turkey Bend Recreation Area
I followed the butterflies out of the bluebonnet patch to clear my head and change my perspective a bit.

Pipevine Swallowtail, Turkey Bend Recreation Area
I appreciated their willingness to stop their flight fairly frequently and spread their wings open in pose.

Prickly Poppy, Turkey Bend Recreation Area
A few interloping wildflowers made an effort to stand out in the sea of blue, like this prickly poppy.

Bluebonnets, Turkey Bend Recreation Area
Ultimately, though, the bluebonnets were in full control.  And my goal for the road trip had been fulfilled.

Bluebonnets and Indian Paintbrush, FM 1431
I did stop briefly along FM 1431 not far from Turkey Bend to capture these roadside bluebonnets and paintbrush, along with a motorcycle speeding past.

I'd gotten what I had come for.  Now I could drive back home without feeling any pressure to get "the shot."  But of course, I'd still keep my eyes open for anything that seemed worth stopping for!

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