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Wilde About Texas: Hillside wildflowers attract worldwide visitors
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Thanks to some fall and winter rains, parts of Texas are experiencing one of the best wildflower seasons in memory.
The state's official place to view the state's official flower is the countryside on the outskirts of Ennis. It’s still awash in blue.
"Our hillsides of Ellis County are known for the beautiful bluebonnets. We have very poor soil here, and for some reason they thrive in our area," Ennis Convention and Visitors Bureau Gina Rokas said.
Thanks to a perfect mix of rain and sun, this year's wildflower season has been one for the record books.
"We knew we had plants, and we knew we were going to have a great season, but we had no idea it was going to be this great. The blooms started happening much earlier so as a result we started handing out maps and we have been going 90 to nothing since March 14," Rokas said.
For more than 60 years the Ennis Garden Club has been mapping out the best routes to get up close to the flowers. They update the best places to see the bluebonnets on their website.
"We know exactly where to send them. We map the trails out ahead of time," Rokas said. "We were named the official bluebonnet trail and city of Texas back in 1997 by the by the Texas Legislature."
This year, thousands of people have stopped and picked up a map and headed out into the countryside.
"This year Bejing, Japan, Australia, New Zealand - I mean it is just amazing how much joy it brings. Everybody wants to see them and they love the Texas wildflowers, they will plan vacations over the wildflowers," Rokas said.
It won't be long until these acres of flowers go to seed, but for now there are still lots of color to enjoy. The Ennis Convention and Visitors Bureau said the blooms won't last much longer.