Monday, May 05, 2008

Tulip Season Finale

Those of you reading this from the Seattle area know that Spring has been unusual this year to put it mildly. We went from a 70 degree Saturday to a pouring down rain Sunday shortly followed by a snow storm that left up to 8 inches of snow on the ground for a couple of days. All this happened in the heart of tulip season. Mount Vernon, WA has many fields that during the month of April come alive with vibrant colors stretching out as far as the eye can see.

Because of the freak weather, the tulips didn't bloom until much later than usual. The season was supposed to end a week and a half ago but I heard on the radio that because of the late bloom they were extending it another week. That was good news for me as I had a Mother's Day project at the restaurant that needed a good tulip photo to complete. Saturday, I hit the Freeway and drove up. Halfway there it started to rain. Not a light sprinkle, but a seriously strong downpour that had me driving 45 MPH at most on I5. I was determined to get at least one decent shot rain or shine so I pressed through.

I got up to where I knew there were tons of fields and couldn't believe my eyes when I saw that they were all gone! They topped off the fields even though the radio had said they were waiting until Monday to do so.

I kept driving and saw a small sign that said the word "tulips" with a small arrow. Just then, the rain stopped. I took a right and couldn't believe my luck. With dramatic clouds in the sky, nice even light there were acres of tulips brighter than ever!

The strong rain had created dramatic color saturation with the flowers and the raindrops were a great added element to the close up shots.

Another fun part of the storm was the thick, oozy mud everywhere! People were slipping and sliding. Many a rump was covered in muck! I saw a woman walking in bare feet after she lost her shoes to the goop. I didn't even hesitate for a second to ask her if she would let me take a picture of her feet! I wonder if she thought I was some sort of a weirdo :)

The tulips are gone until next year but I've got some good photo's. The Lavender fields bloom in June up here. I've never seen them before but hopefully I'll get some shots.

This is the lady that lost her shoes.

This guy was driving people that didn't want to brave the mud.
I wasn't the only one taking advantage of the photo op. I love the umbrella in the field.
They almost don't look real.
This is all that's left of the tulip fields today.
I don't know if these were the most practical shoes, but they sure made for a cool picture.


Anonymous said...

nice shots!
Unca John

Randy said...

I haven't been to the tulip fields since I was in photo schoo. Great images Mat! Love the third image and the one of the lady who lost her shoes. If it were warm enough, that would be the way to go! You could sell it as therapy, like a mud wrap. :)

The tulip petals in the mud is also one of my favorite images from this series.