Bluebonnets and the Blues

A field of Bluebonnet flowers.

Story & photo by Theresa DiMenno

It’s easy … and understandable … to be sucked into the vortex of fear, anxiety and hopelessness. Numerous issues trouble me of late and not solely the coronavirus, although covid-19 is the darkest force among us.

Spring in Texas is my favorite shooting season. At times lately, my desire to photograph wildflowers is at war with feeling it’s a trivial pursuit. Traveling Texas back roads isn’t viable right now, not in the way I typically roam the landscape. Lodging and dining out has become problematic.

From the early days of the pandemic, I had a feeling the sliver of a silver lining would be the environment gets a break from us. With that said, it hurt to think the bluebonnets would bloom with us unaware.

Regardless, nature will carry on and be the better for it. Bees will pollinate bluebonnets, mourning doves will wail their woeful tune, golden light will grace the tips of Indian paintbrush in a Hill Country sunset.

I decided I would photograph flowers close to home while isolating from friends, family and all the wondrous aspects which make up a life. I decided if I found just one bluebonnet, I would photograph it in the most reverential way and be grateful for my bounty. I found about fifty bluebonnets around the corner just off our neighborhood walking trail, and I photographed them on several occasions. Then I took a drive a few streets over and was blown away by a magnificent field tucked into the suburbs on a now quiet south Austin street. Chills head to toe, I inhaled deeply. Standing in the light, at least for a moment, I exhaled the darkness.

Do you have a story about how the corona virus precautions have impacted your life? Share it with us at publications@nanpa.org. Maybe you’ll help or inspire someone else. Meanwhile, check out NANPA’s special, You Got This page with an ever-growing collection of tips, tools, training and inspiration to get us through these difficult times. And, if you find you have some extra time on your hands, take a look at NANPA’s Member-hosted Online Resources where members can list e-classes, webinars, and instructional videos that they have available.

Theresa DiMenno began her photographic career by documenting the Texas music scene of the eighties, shooting for various local artists, major dailies, record companies, SXSW, Texas Monthly and Rolling Stone.  Her current passion spans a decades-long journey into nature photography. She has worked on the award-winning documentary, The Butterfly Trees, and her artwork hangs in numerous corporate spaces and in Houston’s Methodist Hospital. DiMenno has won numerous awards and works closely with Texas Highways Magazine, Texas Parks & Wildlife and the Lady Bird Wildflower Center in Austin Texas. Theresa is a self-taught photographer and storyteller at heart, both in words and imagery. To see more of her work, visit http://www.theresadimenno.com and @tdimenno on Instagram.