Monday, April 19, 2010

Tulips Galore!

Thought I’d take a break from packing the camper in preparation for the next big adventure – to post some pictures from the ‘Seabird Island Tulip Festival’ that we visited this past Saturday.  This is the 5th year of the festival but I could never figure out exactly where it was until this year when the local newspaper did an excellent job of describing exactly where it was located.  The weather could have been better, the day had started out quite nice and sunny but rapidly deteriorated to the point that the odd drop of rain was felt as we were heading back to our car.

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I actually took this picture as we were leaving, but this is also the view you see after you have parked your car in the large lot at the Seabird Island Gas Bar.  The parking fee includes a shuttle bus service to and from the tulip fields.  We made use of the service to go, but walked back.

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and here we are – rows upon rows of colour!

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some brilliant red ones….

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these were one of my favourites – it looks like there isn’t anybody else here but that most definitely was not the case!  This festival is obviously very popular – at least judging by the number of tour buses that arrived in a steady stream.

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This pink ‘peony’ type was very attractive…

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and then there were these yellow ‘peony’ types as well.

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Most people seem to prefer the reds….

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at this point we were still walking along the bottom of the field…

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now we had started up the side….

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these Grape Hyacinth or ‘Muscari’ were the only bulbs, other than tulips….

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looking across the rows….

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and now we are walking along the back of the field…

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some purple and white striped ones…

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I like this picture of the pink ones….I was trying to get Mount Cheam in the background…

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there it is…would have been more effective on a brighter day.

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we are almost at the far corner now – there is Mount Cheam again.  You can see these tulip fields grow under power lines….obviously with no adverse effects!

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I thought I’d try one more shot with the mountain…

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and just to prove you can find birds anywhere – we had been hearing what I was pretty sure were Savannah Sparrows all around the growing fields….sure enough…this one nicely posed on some of the tulip flowers….

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this shot shows what the fields look like after the blooms are spent.  Once the blooms are past their prime, a large lawnmower type machine, runs down the rows and lops off the flower heads.  This prevents the plant putting energy into forming seeds, instead the energy goes into the bulb, which is harvested and sold.

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In keeping with the tulip theme I just want to throw a few more pictures in.  These were all taken at home before we headed out to the Festival.  These red and white tulips have done better in my little yard than any tulips I’ve ever grown.

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This Rhododendron that I inherited when we bought is in full bloom at the moment.  It sits out beside the road in full sun, baking all summer long, rarely getting watered, and each spring it is a sea of flowers….so much for me thinking Rhodo’s have to be in the shade!

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and one last picture – this Red-breasted Sapsucker was in my neighbours Lilac bush….and now I’ll say goodbye until some time in June….see you then!

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