Tiptoe Through the Tulips

Did someone say tulips?

I love all sorts of flowers, but tulips hold a special place in my heart because they were my mother’s favorites.  But take me to a flower field of any kind and I just have to take pictures galore.

Which is why I have a way of annoying my friends and family. Give me a camera and I’ll annoy you, too. After all, can I help it if I’m obsessed with taking photos, especially photos of flowers?

I’m an amateur when it comes to taking pictures and I have great admiration for the professionals who manage to turn an ordinary picture into a work of art. But photography is in my blood, just the same.

You see, long before my father moved to the U.S. and became a life insurance salesman, he was a cartographer. As part of his job, he’d fly the skies of Venezuela, taking photographs of the landscape for use in making maps. Later, when we were kids, he’d force us to stand perfectly still and pose while he used eight-foot standing lamps to take endless pictures with his twin lens camera, circa 1950-something.  It would take hours and it would drive us crazy.

Sometimes I wonder, what if he were alive today and had access to the camera in an iPhone 6? He’d probably love it as much as I do and together we could take long walks snapping pictures of everything in sight. Come to think of it, we wouldn’t get much walking done at all.

The camera is probably the feature I most use on my iPhone. Everyday I find something I want to capture for posterity. Which is why I annoy the heck out of those around me.

I’m constantly stopping to take a picture, slowing everyone down, interrupting the conversation for a shot of a bird on its perch, or in order to capture the sunset at just the right moment. And one photo of a subject won’t do. I take several because you’ve got to take lots to find a gem. Not that I ever find a gem among my pix, but every once in a while, I surprise myself by taking a shot that is pleasing to the eye.

Well, all the aggravation and headache I give my pals on an ordinary day, is nothing compared to the pest I made of myself during a recent trip to Seattle. My friend, Pam, her daughter and I journeyed to the Skagit Valley for the Tulip Festival which was in its full splendor.

And I was in heaven!!

I’d love to share with you the, ahem, 500 or so photos I took that day, but I worry that you’ll never speak to me again. So, here’s a teeny-tiny sampling:


It was a gorgeous day with a slight chill in the air. We were in luck because the usual rainfall the region gets, held off until nightfall.



I tried to get as low in the ground as possible, but given my age–and my knees, which will never be the same, this was the best I could do. My knees may never be the same again, but it was worth it!



There were hordes of crowds the day we went to see the tulips. Look carefully and you may see a few.



Here’s my “aerial” shot. Who needs a drone, anyway?



I love the touch of purple on these otherwise white tulips. They look rather snazzy, don’t you think?



This little upstart thought she could photo-bomb my pic. The nerve!



And of course, who could resist tiptoeing through the tulips for a photo op? Not me!

Next week, I’ll share with you some photos I took while strolling through one of my favorite Seattle neighborhoods.

How about you? What’s your favorite pastime?




18 thoughts on “Tiptoe Through the Tulips

  1. Oh those colors are wonderful. Tulips are my favorite flower, Monica. I carried orange tulips in my bridal bouquet – I remember my mum going to the flower markets in Sydney, very early in the morning to buy them. They were freshly picked and sorted into such an array of colors, she couldn’t pick between a coral, a dark orange and a blended coral and orange, finally settling for a blood orange variety however, She made me such a beautiful arrangement.
    I love your photos and don’t you look beautiful. What a cutie that little one is. I love taking photos.. I could do it all day. I stop in the middle of my run sometimes, to take in a swan or the ducks or just to absorb. Thank you for making me smile.

    • Oh MM, I’m so glad you like tulips, too. I think of them as my mother’s flowers. She adored them so, and somehow I felt a connection to her when I found myself in a field of tulips. Like floating on gossamer wings!

  2. ——OOOO, Monica,
    I am in heaven-
    because I smell the tulips all the way in Duluth
    and they THRILL me.
    fabulous photos.
    That is where I want to be buried!! xxxx

    • Thank you, Pat! My heart was jumping for joy to be in their presence. To think, all the years I lived in Seattle, I never visited the tulip fields. What was I thinking? What a waste!

  3. Loved these photos! I love tulips too. We have a time here in Canberra when an event named Floriade comes to life and it’s all about flowers, tulips and more. So much fun. It’s not as expansive as the tulips you’ve shown in your photos though. It would cost too much for our local government. Mind you, even with what we get at Floriade they wanted to cut it back to some measly event. It would’ve failed if they had.

    • Oh they should never cancel Floriade. What is life, what are humans without the ability to appreciate beauty. It is being in the midst of an abundance of flowers that gladdens the heart and lifts our spirits. There’s too much in our world that gives us stress and anxiety, so bring on the flowers and bring on the joy!

  4. Beautiful pictures, love especially that you included a picture of yourself. I also love tulips. Made a special trip to get tulips for my table this past weekend, pinks and purples, they are so pretty.

    • Thanks, Val. If I could do anything I want and not have to worry about needing to work, I’d be traveling around the world taking photos of all kinds of flowers. I think they’re my favorite subject. I’d love to see more flower fields and relish in their presence. Truly nature’s gift.

  5. Monica, you’ve outdone yourself with these beautiful shots! I, too, love the ones tinged in purple. Tulips are such HAPPY flowers, and they’re gone far too soon to suit me. Thanks for sharing how photography runs in your blood — no wonder you’re a camera bug! I sympathize, you know, because I can hardly go anywhere without snapping a picture of this or that — just ask Dallas, ha!!

    • Debbie, I’m glad you can relate. It helps to have a blog where we can display are, ahem, amazing artwork. I do the best I can, given my limited knowledge of photography, but there are professionals who somehow manage to get pictures of the tulips with the mountains in the backdrop that look absolutely stunning. There was a display of such photos in the gift shop area and I saw some close ups of the tulips where you can see morning dew glistening on the petals. Heaven!

  6. “Why are you taking pictures of your food?” is a frequent question I get. I want to answer “I’m a food critic for the local paper,” but everyone knows I’m the least foodie person in the world. Now before I started enlarging the page looking for that fox, is there one in there, or just “might” be?

    About that close-to-the-ground picture problem, I’m hanging on to my Canon G-11 because it has a swivel LCD screen to I can get those close-to-the-ground and overhead shots without cracking knees or climbing ladders. I don’t know why they don’t make more cameras with that feature. I love it.

    Your tulips are gorgeous. I have tons and tons of fuzzy film shots taken at a tulip farm outside of Amsterdam in the olden days (i.e., more than 10 years ago).

    • Thank you so much, Lee. Another problem I had on that bright sunny day, was that it was too bright to see the screen, so I could barely see what photos I was taking, if you know what I mean. Too much glare on the screen. So I was using both my Nikon and my smart phone, and my Nikon does have a swivel, which I tried to use, but not being able to see the screen well, I resorted to what I knew would work. Special thanks to my aching knees for making the sacrifice in the name of art! 🙂

  7. What lovely images Monica. I love the various colours and it’s nice to see the young smiling sunflower in the last one!!

    One of my favourite pass times is photography, I have over 15,000 images stored on the computer and various media backups.

    I spent seventeen years in retail with some of that selling photographic equipment, at one stage I even had a darkroom to do my own processing and printing.

    Digital cameras have of course opened up a whole new world to many people, these days the majority of people carry a camera in their pocket even if they don’t realise it!!

    Already looking forward to your pictures of Seattle.

    • Thank you, Robert. I know you appreciate the art of photography, too, and I’ve seen some of your pictures which are beautiful, like the ones you shared with me of Scotland. Thanks so much!

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