While wildflowers are sprouting up all over the countryside, leading to great photo opportunities, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service experts are cautioning picture takers to be careful and respectful of others.
DPS encourages drivers to be cautious and not impede traffic when slowing down or stopping to look at wildflowers on the roadside. DPS says drivers should signal before leaving or entering the roadway, park off improved roadway shoulders and parallel to the road in the direction of traffic, avoid crossing lanes of traffic on foot to get to flowers, and obey signs that prohibit parking on a particular stretch of roadway.
While there is no longer a law against picking wildflowers in Texas, including the bluebonnet, there are still laws against trespassing and damaging or destroying rights of way and government property. Additionally, it is a Class C misdemeanor to collect plants, animals, or rocks from state parks.
Those looking to take photos should make sure the property they want to be on is not privately owned, and if it is, get permission before proceeding. While picking a few wildflowers is legal, people should not dig up large patches of them or drive their vehicle onto fields of flowers.
Photographers are also asked to take care when trying to find the ideal spot for their picture, so that they do not trample on wildflowers. They are also cautioned to avoid taking risks to get different angles for photos, such as climbing trees or standing on unstable objects.
Texas A&M AgriLife recommends two online articles from Texas Highways magazine, “Wildflowers of Texas” and “Everything You Need to Know About Texas Wildflower Season” to help wildflower enthusiasts locate and identify the many wildflowers across the state.