PHOTO BY AMANDA VANHOOZIER
When friends from England emailed last spring to say they were flying to Texas for bluebonnet season, my first reaction was—what? Really? They were headed to the Ennis Bluebonnet Trail to experience this fleeting floral phenomenon. I was flabbergasted. Bluebonnets are cool, but these folks were coming a long way for something I’d become too distracted to notice.
Spring slips in gently, peeking through straw-colored turf, budding quietly from bare limbs. The first sprouts of color are easy to miss.
My mom once gave me some bluebonnet seeds (they looked like pebbles), but I never planted them. At the time, she was growing a tiny patch at the edge of her suburban yard. She was their fierce protector. Each spring, she’d put up decorative fencing around her five or six stalks to keep them safe from my dad’s lawnmower. Back then, two bluebonnet landscape paintings hung in my parents’ den. Now these paintings decorate their assisted living quarters, and though at 91 my mom’s memory is fading, she still swoons over flowers, birds and the sky at sunset.
Spring is a symphony, as beautiful as Vivaldi’s ode to the seasons, if you listen.
As temperatures warm, bees emerge from the huddle of the hive in search of fresh nectar. In this issue, Mary Stanley explains the intricate relationship between what’s in bloom and the flavor profile of the hive’s honey. Our ethereal cover shot comes from Sergio Salvador, with other exquisite imagery by Teresa Rafidi and Danny Fulgencio.
Senior editor Kim Pierce, a long-time observer of farmers markets, tells us what to expect this season. Arrive early to snare elusive treasures like asparagus and strawberries. Cowgirl Chef Ellise Pierce offers seasonal recipes and a word of advice: let nature shine through. No need to make a fuss when your ingredients are fresh.
That also holds true for Meredith Steele’s Bee’s Knees cocktail, made with fresh thyme, local honey and a bit of gin. And don’t miss Bambi Edlund’s illustrations. Her work is both informative and whimsical.
Spring is a time of renewal and youthful optimism.
The Young Turks of Texas Wines are a new generation of tastemakers, mindful of their heritage, but eager to guide the Texas wine industry to new heights. After reading Russ Kane’s story, you’ll be convinced that the future is in good hands.
Another fresh-faced “kid,” Andrea Shackelford—chef, master gardener, mom— is at the helm of a long list of exciting endeavors in and around McKinney, a dynamic food community. Kim Pierce and photographer Melinda Ortley spent time with Shackelford, both in the garden and the kitchen.
Spring is a state of mind, no matter what your age.
It’s only a month or so until that royal blue blanket unfolds again along our county roads and state highways. Besides bluebonnets, the tableau will be flecked with evening primrose and Indian paintbrush, too. I’m not going to let the season pass me by this time. I plan to take my mom for a drive.