Posts Tagged ‘ sharing ’

Texas Tradition…a drive in the wildflowers

I am from Texas, born and raised….yet in my thirty (cough cough) years…I had never heard of the tradition of going and taking pictures in the seasonal wildflowers of Texas. Especially with the state flower, the Bluebonnets. Last year I was introduced to this as my wife and I took our 5 month old daughter to a pristine little patch of Bluebonnets on her parents ranch. On the drive there I saw people pulled along the side of the road, with their children and loved ones, taking pictures in the patches of wildflowers along the side of the road. Luckily for us, our little patch was untrampled and we got a few nice pictures, given that our 5 month old wasnt feeling it. It was also special because she was wearing a dress her mommy wore when she was a baby as well.

This year we revisited the tradition, this time our daughter wasnt feeling standing still long enough to get too many pictures of her, but at least we got some smiles.

Daughter in the Bluebonnets

I recorded our trip up there to show you some of the people parked alongside the road, out there taking pictures.

Info from Chron.com:

For the latest on blooms, check TxDOT’s wildflower hot line, 800-452-9292 or visit www.txdot.gov.
Report your sightings to HoustonGrows’ online database.

Please don’t pick

It’s not illegal to pick wildflowers along public roads, but the Texas Department of Transportation asks that we not remove or trample the blooms. Those who pick or crush bluebonnets and other wildflowers leave fewer for others to enjoy. And when flowers aren’t allowed to go to seed, there are less flowers the following spring…..

About the bluebonnet

Texas’ floral trademark, our beloved bluebonnet, belongs to the large Lupine genus. Most are annuals and perennials, including the five cold-hardy annual species native to Texas.

All five share the honor of our state flower.

Lupinus subcarnosus beat out the cotton boll and the prickly pear cactus bloom to become Texas’ state flower in 1901. But many felt the common L. texensis the most attractive of the five native bluebonnet species. So in 1971, lawmakers ended the squabble by recognizing all five as the state flower.

The bluebonnet, so named because of its color and shape, has more than one common name. It’s been called buffalo clover and el conejo (the rabbit), which refers to its white, cottonntail-like top. Once, it was known as wolf flower (Lupus means wolf) because it was believed the plant robbed the earth of nutrients. But we now know bluebonnets, which belong to the legume family, add nitrogen to the soil.

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Tuesdays: Unspoken Etiquette

Here we are again….sharing some information with our fellow drivers that I used to think was an obvious, however some people just dont get it. Have you ever come up to make a left hand turn and you are coming up to the turn in the median and the other idiot is in “your lane”?! Or you ever gotten in the correct area and the other oncoming driver is perturbed and gives you a menacing look or even yells obsenities? I have experienced that. So to fill in the uninformed drivers I am here to explain how and WHY a left had turn is the way it is.

Here in Houston we do have some of the WRONG setups for making a left hand turn, typically across oncoming traffic. A turn like this one typically puts you to where you can’t see the oncoming traffic and neither can the other driver in front of you trying to make their own left hand turn.

Why the turns are setup this way I have no clue. Maybe the city of Houston wants you to get into an accident, how else do tow truck drivers, insurance companies, lawyers, the court system or anyone else that would be involved in a collision case make any money?

Now we come to a regular u-turn or left hand turn median setup. Ok now in the USA, we drive on the right hand side of the road. So you would think that in logic, when turning you would go past and make your left handed turn from the right side of the turn intersection. Instead, alot of people want to turn as soon as possible and end up on the narrow side of the turn, with the oncoming car forced to do the same, now you have two foolish drivers craning their necks around in an attempt to look through the car in front of them to see if any traffic is coming. WRONG.

When making a turn like this, you go past and turn on the right side, each driver has a clear view of the oncoming traffic and can safely make their turn. If only everyone would somehow be informed of this, you wouldnt have me yelling obsenities at the idiots who dont follow this practice when making a left turn.


Its all about being safe. So please share the roads responsibly, be courteous and drive like you have some friggin common sense!!

AJD

Averagejoedriver “Flips” out in HD

Coming soon….stay tuned for some video documenting the adventures of averagejoedriver on the psychotic roads of Houston. I am now being accompanied by a Cisco Systems Flip UltraHD 120mins video recorder. After much research, I was going to either go with the Sony Bloggie with the swivel lens or the Flip, and I ultimately chose the Flip.

Bear with me as this will all be trial and error for me, but I hope to start documenting some of the topics I rant or rave about on here.

This should be fun….

Tuesdays: Unspoken Etiquette

45South exit at South Loop

I thought Tuesdays would be a good day to share some of what I think are good Etiquette rules of the road. At least somewhere along the way, I learned them to be. Or perhaps I invented them in my head and expect my fellow drivers to honor them as we share the road. For today’s example I can give a specific example. Here in Houston there is a freeway exit I used to frequent and came into this scenario on many occasions.

The exit for 45 South (Gulf Freeway) at 6-10 (South Loop) is a one lane exit, and gets a long queue during traffic hours, which in Houston is pretty much all day. While the patient, courteous drivers wait in the line to get off of 6-10 and on to I-45, some drivers feel the need to drive all the way up to the last instant where there is no more room anymore, STOP, put on their blinker and insist on edging their way in. Now mind you I appreciate the use of the blinker, because ALOT of drivers don’t even extend that courtesy. However, what gives you the right to bypass waiting in the queue and basically cutting ahead in line?! In my earlier years, these culprits would have been met with a middle finger from me as well as my bumper riding forcing them to get in behind me. Small victory to me in my head. On one occasion a guy got all agitated, until I stopped and began to open my door, which triggered him to drive away and try this rude behavior again tomorrow. Ahhh to be young and wreckless.

Maybe this practice isnt a big deal, although it is a major pet peeve of mine. I have seen on one occasion a motorcycle officer forcing the people that tried to do that to move on. Not because of the sense of unfairness cutting in line, but because they are coming to a complete stop in an open lane on the freeway and could, and probably have, cause an accident just to save some time from waiting in the queue.

Please don’t become THAT driver that thinks they are better than everyone else. Trust me, I’ll shove my Ford Escape right up your Land Rover’s tailpipe. Driving a luxury vehicle doesnt give anyone impunity from respecting the people they share the open roads with.

AJD

by the way, that image is a photoshop attempt to show the scenario I was referring to, and is not an actual Google maps snapshot of it actually happening.