Every year the Skagit Valley, about 60 miles north of Seattle, celebrates spring with its annual tulip festival. Last year Bob and I planned to get up early one Sunday morning so we would be there at dawn - to get the best light. We imagined the fields of tulips sparkling in the first glimmer of daylight. The weather forecast was the default forecast for this part of the country: partly cloudy, possible rain. I think that has been the forecast for every spring day since we moved to Seattle. It can mean heavy rains, no rain, early morning overcast followed by a clear cloudless sky, almost anything really. So when we woke to rain we thought nothing of it and forged ahead, hoping that 60 miles would make a difference. But when we arrived the rain persisted. So much for the early morning light. Also we had forgotten to check field reports to see if the tulips were actually blooming. They were not. We did find fields of daffodils - but no tulips.
Undaunted we decided to try it again this year. Once again we rose before dawn and ignored the weather forecast. But this time we did check field reports and were assured that we would find the tulips in full bloom. Below are a few photographs I took last Sunday. The first was taken before dawn, when the area was still blanketed with fog. The others speak for themselves.