Thursday, February 25, 2016

Looking At Skagit Valley Signs Of Spring Waiting For Texas Wildflowers

Yesterday I looked northwest from my current location and lamented the bland scenery my eyes were seeing. The only colors being the blue of the sky and the green of scrub brush.

This morning, on Facebook, I saw the scenic scene you see here, with the text under the photo saying "Signs of Spring in the Skagit Valley this morning!"

The yellow color you see are  flowers called daffodils. Apparently an early arrival of Spring has the Skagit Flats springing alive with color.

Soon the daffodils will be joined by huge fields of tulips in multiple colors, along with other flowers springing from bulbs, like irises, flags, dahlias and likely others I am not remembering right now.

In a month or two the month long Skagit Valley Tulip Festival happens all over the valley, bringing in around a million Tulip Tourists from all over the world. These are real tourists,  not the imaginary type tourists the Fort Worth tourist counters count. You know, counting as a tourist someone visiting Fort Worth from a nearby town, like Arlington.

Yesterday I also found myself lamenting the sad state of hills at my current location where little mounds of earth are called hills, like my neighborhood Woodhaven Hills.

If you look beyond the daffodils in the above photo you will see a couple actual hills. At my current location if such a hill existed I am guessing it would be called a mountain.

I don't remember if I have seen the Skagit Valley Tulips this century. I think the only time I have been back to the Skagit Valley in Spring was in April of 2006 for Spencer Jack's dad's first wedding. I know I only saw the Skagit Flats from a distance, zipping north on I-5, to Burlington for the wedding, then Mount Vernon for the wedding reception, and then back south, well after dark.

When I lived in the Skagit Valley I usually found the Tulip Festival to be an annoyance, particularly when I lived in West Mount Vernon, which was greatly impacted by all the tourists.

Bad traffic jams.

I know the Tulip Traffic problem has been somewhat mitigated in multiple ways, like signage directing people off the freeway prior to the main Mount Vernon/Burlington exits. And getting people to leave their cars in mall parking lots to hop aboard a Tulip Bus to take the Tulip Tour. And spreading the tourists out to new locations, like Tulip Town and events in the various towns in the Skagit Valley.

Last year, or the year before, I recollect reading about some ranch land up near Denton where someone had planted a big field of tulips, hoping people would come to view them and buy bulbs. I remember wondering at the time how a field of tulips would survive in Texas, what with the weather extremes.

In a month, give or take a week or two, Texas will be rivaling the Skagit Valley, color-wise, when the wildflowers put on their annual show. Is there a Wildflower Festival somewhere in Texas? If not, there should be.....

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