In which we celebrate spring and a birthday and sunshine and flowers

Photobomb:  bald eagle, top left
 My birthday was last week, so we used that as an excuse to go visit the tulip fields up north of Haiku Farm.

It used to be that folks would pack a picnic lunch and take bicycles out on the rural roads to visit the various tulip farms and take photos of the pretty flowers.  
These days, the private growers have "no trespassing" signs on their fields, and the two largest growers have all but invited Disneyland to set up shop during the month of April: the formerly-humble tulip farms now offer gourmet ice cream, face painting, kite flying, and an indoor plant vendor.  The traffic (especially on weekends) is prohibitively scary for bicyclists.

But the flowers are still pretty. 

My parents met up with us for the day, and Mom and I walked around the big tulip fields, taking photos and talking.
The artist adds to her collection of inspiration.
 My mom is a watercolor artist; she started taking classes several years ago, and is amazingly talented.   
This was my birthday card:  my mom's flower picture!
 I fully expect to see a new batch of paintings featuring watercolor illustrations of tulips.  I can hardly wait.
 We messed around with wide-angles and close-ups.

Another photo-bomber: this time, a spider

 This lonely flower, off by itself
 reminded us of Twelve, who looks like the others but is distinctly individual in character.

Then we saw these rogue daffodils
Can flowers run away?  These daffs appear to be fleeing the captivity of the field
 on the edge of the tulip fields, evidently heading south without authorization.  Can plants migrate?  Hmmm.

 After the flowers,

the cake.

And (you know this, right?):  it was GOOD!


  1. Happy belated birthday - looks like a fun (and beautiful) day!

  2. What a fun birthday! I didn't know people grew tulips in WA, how cool. Your mom's card is lovely! And the cake, nom nom nom that looks delish.

  3. That card/painting is truly lovely. My husband grows flower bulbs for a living--I am familiar with the joy in a field of flowers. I'll have to send you a photo.

  4. So what exactly do they DO with all those tuplips?? Seems they are too far along to be cut and marketed...
    Happy [late] birthday!

    1. Some growers sell fresh cut flowers in the local supermarkets and at tulip stands near major roads, but most of the local industry now is online bulb sales and tourism--Skagit County is the nation's largest source of tulip, daffodil and and iris bulbs.

      Tourism is a huge business: the Chamber of Commerce figures that about a million tourists come visit the fields each year in April, and we certainly heard a lot of non-local accents and languages spoken by other folks when we were walking around!

  5. What an outstanding way to celebrate your birthday! Talented is an understatement! A perfect weekend to visit all that color! I know that it's not "the same" - but at least the tulips don't know! :-) Cake good?! Yum! HAPPIEST OF BIRTHDAY'S TO YOU Aarene!

  6. Happy Belated Birthday! I am glad the sun was shining and not liquid on such a splendid day as your outing. Better yet, I'm glad the sun was not frozen that day!

  7. Happy belated birthday! The card your mother created is perfectly beautiful!


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