PawPaw Days: Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

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Backing up a bit . . .

I want to chronicle a few more of the adventures I had with my parents when they came to visit last month.  Especially this insane tulipalooza eye-candy freakout:

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Seriously, is the level of beauty here just insane?  A staggering number of the flowering bulbs grown in the U.S. come from Skagit Valley, which is about an hour’s drive north of where I live.  My parents and I noticed how similar the weather and climate are to those in the Netherlands (we took a road trip there when I was 8 or 9).

We mucked about in the fields for a while (and I do mean mucked, the mud was thick):

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Then we went to see the demonstration gardens.  Holy.  Cow.  It was like Flower Disneyland, everything was meticulously manicured and gorgeous.  After a while I began to get a little dizzy, even though I was loving every minute of it.

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(Pant. Pant. Pant.  Are you ready for more?  It’s like putting SweeTarts on your eyeballs.)

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By the way, all of the images in this post were taken by my mom, with her phone.  I only used about 1% of the photos she took; we were all a little giddy and swept away by the spectacle.  My mom loved it (home run on the hostessing front!) and I can’t wait to go again next year.

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Down in the Boggy Boggy Bog


The signs of spring are different here in the Pacific Northwest — the temperatures don’t rise, mainly because they were never low to begin with (somewhere between 45-55 degrees every day).  So springtime is measured out in sunshine, which is gradually creeping back into our lives.

Also, instead of springtime robins, people look for grey whales in the Puget Sound.  Details, details.

We decided to splurge on our rare slice of sunshine today and take a hike in the Mercer Slough.  This is a boggy natural preserve in Bellevue which was created when Lake Washington’s water levels dropped ten feet after the construction of the Chittenden Locks.

Just  . . . just look it up.


Anyway, this left a network of meadows, wetlands, streams, and ponds behind, all of which make for excellent hiking and wildlife watching.  Or it would have been so if Katie hadn’t been Going Napless for the afternoon.  I’m pretty sure that forest critters tend to, ah, resist the allure of a toddler screaming.

In lieu of critters, we did spot these interesting yellow lily flowers.  They looked so early-springish, all perky banana blooms sticking up out of the moss and branches.


I love how they are awkward and tough-skinned, yet still full of energy and life.  Just like early spring.