I spent the past few months trying to complete this painting focusing on the original composition. Something was not working though.Read More
"Tulipmania," as it is known, occurred during the Dutch Golden Age, when a rare tulip bulb went for the cost of 12 acres of land.Read More
Upon wrapping up my visit, I am touched by the simple elegance of the tulip harvest, filled with so much honor and meaning. These people are earning their living by picking tulips. It is my privilege to witness the dignity of which they are earning their livelihood.
I will remember this experience for a long time. The next time I stop in the grocery store to purchase my $4 bundle of tulips, I will say a silent "Thanks" to those who picked them for me.Read More
The word "anthology" derives from ancient Greek, anthologos, (antho + logos, adj. derivative of légein to pick up, collect) literally means "flower-gathering."
So, how does flower gathering have anything to do with literature and anthologies?
Well, an anthology is a collection of literary works chosen by the compiler. It may be a collection of poems, short stories, plays, songs, or excerpts. In genre fiction anthology is used to categorize collections of shorter works such as short stories and short novels, usually collected into a single volume for publication.
Thus, an anthology preserves the best of a kind, the "flowers" of the art.Read More
Walking along the edge of the field towards the back where the tulip pickers are, I join them.
They are working in a quiet manner, silently picking the spring flowers. In unison, they advance, slowly, rhythmically. Reaching over, gently snipping the bottoms of the tulip stems.Read More
Upon seeing the tulips in the Skagit Valley for the first time, I fell in love with the setting.
Morning light, dew laden earth.
The rows of tulips are long.
The colors are lush.
In the distance, I see groups of people on the perimeters of the fields. I think to myself, they must be on a guided tour or a field trip of some sort. As I continue to walk about the fields, I see similar small groups of people huddled in the rows of tulips.Read More
Being a life long resident of Washington State, I have always wanted to see the tulips in bloom in Skagit Valley.
However, my first and only tulip "experience" to date was in 1985 on my very first trip to Europe, in Lisse, the Netherlands a little more than 20 miles away from Amsterdam to visit the world-renowned Keukenhof Garden.Read More
Snow Geese feed almost exclusively on plant material on the flood plains. In winter, waste grain from flood plains like the one above are a primary food source, using cover crops such as winter wheat, rye grass, and potatoes.Read More
A mist covers the ground from the rain laden skies. A stream flows through the marsh grasses, sloping hills in the distance. For a moment, I feel like I could be in Ireland, with the lush emerald green around me.Read More
One of the things that is very clear when you are in this area is the regional focus on conservation--for the land, for the wetlands, for the wildlife. The Nature Conservancy is working in partnership with Skagit County to restore 60 acres of freshwater tidal marsh, aiding salmon recovery, supporting agriculture, improving flood protection for the local community and creating new jobs.Read More
On February 28, I set out for a road trip to Skagit Valley.
Destination: Port Susan Snow Goose & Birding Festival, Stanwood, WA. I wanted to see the amazing snow goose migration, where an estimated 60,000-100,000 Snow Geese migrate south for the winter.
Before I describe this trip, I want to go back in time a few years.
The last time I saw the snow geese was about this time of year in 2009. I drove up to Fox Island Nature Center with a friend. We planned our trip to arrive early morning sunrise. That is when the birds are waking up and flying in from their water nests in the surrounding inland marshes.Read More