Tulips and Squirrels

I normally like squirrels.  I always have, especially after one turned and basically played patty-cake with one of my cats when I was child.  The cat had been stalking it and it decided to show how unimpressed it was.  Anyway, tulip season is the one time of year where squirrels are pests, because they like to eat the tulips.  Some years are better than others.  This year is one of the worse years in recent memory.  It seems we lose another tulip every other day, despite me putting out something to deter the pests.  Gr…

Mom and I went up to the Skagit Valley tulip festival last Monday.  My brother’s girlfriend tagged along, because she wanted to see the tulips in person.  She’s planning future gardens and wanted to see all the varieties.  It was cloudy and increasingly windy, but it didn’t start raining until we were well into the drive back.  We went on Monday for a couple reasons.  One, it was my day off.  Two, the fields are very busy during the weekends.  Especially the weekend before we went, because the weather was very nice.  I looked at the traffic report on Sunday afternoon.  Traffic was backed up for miles and miles because of all the people heading north to see the tulip fields.  Dad even encountered the traffic when he went to pick up my other brother for Easter dinner.  Crazy!

On our way to the gardens and fields at RoozenGaarde, I checked to see which of the old houses and barns were still standing.  I think all of them were, though some had clearly sustained weather damage since we were last up.  I was amazed one particular house was still standing.  Well, sort of.  The front half is partially caved in, but I’m more and more impressed when we find that the rest of the house hasn’t followed suit each year we drive by.

The gardens were lovely, though more crowded than I would care for.  When I take pictures of the gardens, I try not to get too many passerby in the photos.  One, I don’t know any of the people and really don’t know if they want to be photographed.  I hate being photographed, so I give that courtesy to people I don’t know.  Two, it’s hard to get long shots of the gardens with all the people passing through.  I managed.  Mom and I were happy to point out the Kung Fu and Ninja tulips.  Both are shades of pink, which annoys my brother greatly, so we figured his girlfriend would enjoy knowing that tidbit.  His favorite tulips, Black Parrot and Queen of the Night, weren’t in bloom yet.  I wasn’t surprised.  With the cooler spring, many of the later tulips weren’t quite ready.

After wandering through all the gardens, we headed out to the fields.  The closest was a large daffodil field.  I was surprised to see the daffodils still in bloom, though Mom and I speculated the fields would be plowed last weekend.  There wasn’t as much mud as I feared and my brother’s girlfriend was delighted to find the ground was quite springy in a number of spots instead of packed.  We had fun bouncing on it.  My phone’s battery gave me one more reason to add to my growing list of why I want a new phone.  It died as we reached the first of the tulip fields.  I didn’t get as many photos as I would’ve liked, which was disappointing.  I like taking photos of the whole fields, so one could see how they change color.  I also like looking out for misfits, like a yellow tulip standing out in the middle of 20 rows of red tulips.  I got a few of those, but would’ve liked to get more.  Oh well.  Next year.  I’ll have a new phone and will remember to bring an external battery.  Maybe I’ll splurge and upgrade my camera, too.

When we were through with the tulip fields and RoozenGaarde, we wandered into nearby La Conner.  Even though there weren’t as many people as the day before, we still struggled to find a parking spot.  We finally found one in a small private lot.  I have no idea if we were actually allowed to park there, but we paid the fee and knew we wouldn’t be gone long.  La Conner has a small needlework and yarn store that Mom and I frequent whenever we’re in the area.  It moved locations last year, so we had a little trouble finding it.  The owner told us last year that the new location was further downtown and would attract more people.  It certainly looked busier than last year, so I hope that’s true.  I didn’t buy anything this year, but Mom sure did.  It was fun just to see the new place.

After La Conner, we went to the Snow Goose Market and enjoyed their immodest ice cream cones.  They were out of cookies ‘n crème.  How does that happen? I opted for moose tracks instead, which seemed to melt much faster than either of my companions’ flavors.  Next time, I’ll have to remember to get more napkins.

There are two roundabouts on the way to the tulip fields and La Conner.  Mom isn’t as experienced with roundabouts as I am.  I got really used to them during my tour of duty in England.  Anyway, Mom managed to get through them with only a little difficulty.  I much prefer stop signs or traffic lights.

All in all, it was a great trip.  I have a new coaster.  Mom has a new coaster, some new needlework, and a new pot of a variety of tulips that we didn’t see in the catalogue.  Vampire.  A nice shade of red with white tips.  Now, if I could get the squirrels to leave them alone.

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About emeree

I am an Air Force veteran. I served as a Security Forces troop for nearly seven years and reached the rank of Staff Sergeant before separating in 2008. My tours of duty were in England and Oklahoma. I live in the Seattle area, which is where I grew up. I used my GI Bill and earned a degree from the University of Washington. I currently work in downtown Seattle and experience all the adventure that comes with that.
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