Colorful Gardens at the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

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I recently visited the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival in Northern Washington State on a gray day this April. Some of that was detailed in my previous post, Colorful Views…). As amazing as the tulip fields were, I was also impressed by the Roozengaarde display garden area. Here, there are “90+ varieties of tulips and over 150 flower bulb varieties in total. Included are tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, crocus, muscari and other specialty flowers.”

The colors this time of year stand out, and a worthwhile attraction for tourists and locals in the Pacific Northwest. According to its website at tulips.com, the display garden is open all year round. Seeing these with the fields during the festival, is just an added bonus.

I now share some pics of wonderful display garden below (click on each for the bigger picture):

The admiration and picture-taking was a joy, but personally seeing this for yourself is the best experience, especially with friends or family. For more info, click here and check out the Roozengaarde official site at Tulips.com for more info about tulips and purchase options

– Orion T

 

 

Colorful Views at the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

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A few days ago, me and local friends ventured out north in the Washington state to the rural area of Skagit Valley by Mount Vernon, to check out its annual Tulip Festival. This wonderful time throughout April is when the tulip farms are at their colorful peak, growing miles of freshly blooms tulips and daffodils. Designated areas for up close viewing are open to the public, with a small admission charge

For the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival of 2018, there are multiple areas to visit and check out, as I entered the Roozengaarde Display Garden and Fields. Stunning place it is, even with the gray weather and muddy grounds (rained hard the day before). I admired and learned much of the tulip life and care that goes into them. I also took some pictures, of which the fields are shared below (click on each to fully appreciate):

The festival time goes on until the end of the month. The tourism on the weekend can be a bit heavy, especially if the rain is gone and the sun is shining. So, be ready for a slow drive when close and lines at the entrance and foot court. It’s all well worth it with friends and family.

For more info, check out tulipfestival.org.

I meanwhile, also show many great up-close shots of the tulips in their enclosed garden area, of which I will share in another post. Look forward!

– Orion T

 

 

 

The Second Sunset past Seven

The best thing about this new daylight saving time change, is more time to savor a good sunset. Especially, with the warm weather.

So I did, behind the Pile Place Market in the new deck area. The shot above is from my phone, with its last bit of battery life before shutting down.

– Orion T

The Revolving Winter

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I feel there is a little confusion in recent weather changes.

In the Seattle area, we had a little snow in the recent days. Depending on what part, which can range from one zip code to another, can be very little or a lot of a little. Before the snow, there was a mix of sunshine and light rain, which helped push forward some early blooms. Now the air is chill, with predictions of slight temperature raises in the coming days. The snow in and around my area has become a memory, though may return. The blooms meanwhile, seem hesitant.

Just wait and see.

– Orion T

The Long Winter in the Pacific Northwest…

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According to a recent article in the Seattle Times, there were only three full sunny days in Seattle, with mild temperature since October start.

The last of them was a month ago on February 13th, a month ago. The other days have been a mix of gloom and rain. And compared to the prior years, the trees have shown barely any sign of bloom and leafing. I personally miss the cherry blossoms, which would normally bloom in the pics above. But not all is melancholy, for the days here are what you make of them.

There is a feeling of just another natural cycle taking place. Perhaps, the spirit of nature or whatever you believe is in control, making up for the prior warmer years. I feel the need to enjoy whatever is offered. And there is plenty of natural beauty. You just have to look up and around.

But, I really hope the cherry blossoms come around soon.

– Orion T

Picture of Today 4/27/16, Loose Morels

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Just one of the many things one with a filled wallet can buy from the world-famous Pike Place Market in Seattle. And here is an entry from good ol Wikipedia about this unusual and expensive fungi…

“Morchella, the true morels, is a genus of edible mushrooms closely related to anatomically simpler cup fungi. These distinctive fungi appear honeycomb-like, with their cap composed of a network of ridges with pits. Morels are sought by thousands of enthusiasts every spring for their supreme taste and the joy of the hunt, and are highly prized by gourmet cooks, particularly in French cuisine.

Morels have been called by many local names; some of the more colorful include dryland fish, because when sliced lengthwise then breaded and fried, their outline resembles the shape of a fish; hickory chickens, as they are known in many parts of Kentucky; and merkels or miracles, based on a story of how a mountain family was saved from starvation by eating morels. In parts of West Virginia, they are known as molly moochers or muggins. Due to the partial structural and textural similarity to some species of Poriferans (sponges), a common name for any true morel is sponge mushroom.

The scientific name of the genus Morchella is derived from morchel, an old German word for mushroom (this may be another source for the name “merkel”), while morel itself is derived from the Latin maurus meaning brown.”

There is some ominous warnings about the dangers of eating morels at the bottom of the wiki entry..

Morels contain small amounts of hydrazine toxins that are removed by thorough cooking; morel mushrooms should never be eaten raw. It has been reported that even cooked morels can sometimes cause mild symptoms of upset stomach when consumed with alcohol.[49]

When eating this mushroom for the first time it is wise to consume a small amount to minimize any allergic reaction. As with all fungi, morels for consumption must be clean and free of decay. Morels growing in old apple orchards that had been treated with the insecticide lead arsenate may accumulate levels of toxic lead and arsenic that are unsuitable for human consumption”

And now you know, and knowing is half the battle!

– Orion T,

 

 

Picture of Today 2/7/16, the Winter Wonder of Mt. Rainer..

 

Along the 90 freeway to Bellevue over Lake Washington, earlier today…

In the distance, I see Mount Rainier with more snow upon than last year. It’s a beautiful sight, as its surroundings from the passenge seat I sit to the peaks yonder, astound and delight. I love especially how the top seems hidden, leaving little mystery to those who dare imagine the nesting dragons above.

Orion T