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Spring color is abundant in the Southern PlainsSpring color is abundant in the Southern Plains

Ron Smith 1

April 8, 2015

17 Slides

Sometimes the Southern Plains can seem like a wind-swept, dusty, colorless place where visitors expect to see more mesquite, rocky outcrops and parched fields than green meadows, colorful blossoms or delicate flowers. Those visitors are often correct—if they don’t know where to look and if they avoid the rutted back roads, the narrow field lanes and the inconspicuous nooks and crannies hidden in the often harsh terrain.

I have been fortunate to travel those little-known FM roads and long, winding driveways for many years and I always welcome spring  and the surprises I find tucked away in bar ditches, among the prickly pear infestations and along the small riverbeds—often dry ones. It takes some time and it takes some patience but the beauty is there if you look hard enough.

The ubiquitous bluebonnets along the interstate highways are easy to find, but some of the photos in this gallery take a little more effort and, in some cases, a bit of imagination. The signs of spring are everywhere.

About the Author(s)

Ron Smith 1

Senior Content Director, Farm Press/Farm Progress

Ron Smith has spent more than 40 years covering Sunbelt agriculture. Ron began his career in agricultural journalism as an Experiment Station and Extension editor at Clemson University, where he earned a Masters Degree in English in 1975. He served as associate editor for Southeast Farm Press from 1978 through 1989. In 1990, Smith helped launch Southern Turf Management Magazine and served as editor. He also helped launch two other regional Turf and Landscape publications and launched and edited Florida Grove and Vegetable Management for the Farm Press Group. Within two years of launch, the turf magazines were well-respected, award-winning publications. Ron has received numerous awards for writing and photography in both agriculture and landscape journalism. He is past president of The Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association and was chosen as the first media representative to the University of Georgia College of Agriculture Advisory Board. He was named Communicator of the Year for the Metropolitan Atlanta Agricultural Communicators Association. More recently, he was awarded the Norman Borlaug Lifetime Achievement Award by the Texas Plant Protection Association. Smith also worked in public relations, specializing in media relations for agricultural companies. Ron lives with his wife Pat in Johnson City, Tenn. They have two grown children, Stacey and Nick, and three grandsons, Aaron, Hunter and Walker.

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