Sunday, March 14, 2010


Spring has sprung, at least here!

This El Nino winter has brought us an unseasonably warm winter and with it an early spring. The Skagit River Valley, where I live in Washington State, is still very agricultural and one of the main products of our farms are daffodil and tulip bulbs. Every year in the month of April the local Tulip Festival is held and visitors come from all over to stroll through the fields with these flowers in bloom. However, the flowers are not the main product, it is the bulbs in the ground. The growers try to leave the flowers as long as the can before "topping" them but it looks like this year that will come before the end of the festival at the end of April. If you want to come see them, come early, like at the beginning of April or even in late March.

As of today many of the tulips in our own garden are starting to bloom but I have no photos of them. However, this area has some beautiful flowering trees- some are cherry and some plum and I can't tell the difference. A week ago we had beautiful weather on Saturday March 6th and due to the early spring, the blooms on these trees were already changing into the red leaves of summer. I had wanted to take some photos and with colder temperatures along with strong wind & rain forecast for the next few days I figured I'd better get to doing it while it was still possible. So, I put my macro lens on the camera and took a hike in our park. Here are three photos from that trip.

Spring flowers 01
There are quite a few of these trees that have grown large enough to partially cover the roadway in the northeast part of our park. These are a few of them, looking north from Phillips Loop East (yup, that is the name of the road I live on.) You can also see one of another kind of "tree" that our park has grown a lot of over the last couple of years- a For Sale sign on a post. We are a senior park and some residents sometimes need a higher level of care than totally independent living that we have here, so they move. The real estate market has not been kind to us here either. There are people who would like to move in but most have another house somewhere else that they have to sell before buying one here. So, right now we probably have a good dozen homes (out of a total of 120) that are for sale.

Spring flowers 02
This closer view shows some of the red leaves along with the blooms. These trees are beautiful now with the flowers blooming and also during the rest of the growing season with their red leaves.

Spring flowers 03
I have always loved forsythia plants with their early spring very bright yellow blooms. They always look so bright and cheerful after our usually dull, dreary winters. So we planted one in our yard a couple of years ago and it is doing very well. Our only goal with it is to try to keep it from getting too big. Last Saturday when I was on my photo walk, our own forsythia was too beautiful to ignore, especially with it brilliantly lit by the afternoon sun.

I have other photos of spring plants in our park and will try to include them in posts here and I'll try to do it a little more often that I have been. We are going east of the mountains for a couple of nights in one of our favorite local towns, Leavenworth, next Wednesday and I should also get some photos over there. I think I will also have some good news about my car "collection" when we get back.

More later.

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Haven't we just been so lucky with this weather?

I'm loving the sun and spending as much time as i can outside.
Congradulations on your marriage to PAT !
My Billy-Jacob and I found you and have been reading you for a while feeling sorrow for you and praying GOD would bring you a new wife that you may be a Blessing to one another!
We had no internet for a while.... great meeting you again!

We are believing GOD for an RV! We live in Our Bloody Red Montana Van! We are truely Blessed for our Lord had no place to lay his Most Holy head! And not only do I get to ride, but I not only get to ride, but am chauffered by My Personal Elder in heavens gate!
EstherStephanada & Billy-Jacob
Spring is springing here too, Dick. My daffodils are blooming and the trees are budding out. I saw a couple of forsythias blooming today too.

Enjoy your trip and I'll be watching for your photos. :o)

Love and hugs,

We've been enjoying spring weather up here too Dick, today the high will be in the low 50's (F)!

I love these photos, very well done and so pretty. Enjoy your trip, I can't wait to see more pictures from you!
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