After a winter of cold, wet, snowy weather, it finally is spring time in the Skagit Valley. If you don’t know by now, the Skagit Valley here in the Pacific Northwest is renowned for their spring time displays of flowers, specifically tulips and daffodils. Being one of the larger producers of tulip and daffodil bulbs worldwide, one can find just about any color or style of tulip or daffodil in full bloom during the months of April and May.
The annual tulip festival during the month of April is recognized as a premier flower event for enthusiasts from all over the world. Dependent on weather conditions, the daffodils are the first to bloom. Usually around the last week of March, extending into mid May. You can drive through the countryside and find fields full of blooming flowers. The largest producer of bulbs, RoozenGaarde, produces an incredible flower garden each year. They have a website, and there you can find a map showing the location of the various fields, the types of flowers in the fields and when they are “in bloom”. Be sure and also check out Tulip Town as they also have a fabulous display of flowers. A stop by their facilities will be worth your visit.
For photographers, the annual tulip and daffodil bloom is one of those things you just cannot miss. The opportunities abound for getting the perfect image of flowers, landscape beauty, and the surrounding environment. On days when the sun is truly out, and there is a cloudless blue sky, the color of the flowers is so vibrant, one has to look away now and then just so you can look back in sheer wonder. Throw in as a backdrop on those cloudless, blue sky days, Mount Baker as a backdrop, and you have the perfect recipe for images that will cause one to pause and take a second look once they are published. Be sure and stop in at the retail counters and advise them you are there to photograph. They will require you to sign an agreement indicating that you will reference their companies in all images produced. Not a big deal, and that document allows you to go to places the average patron cannot go.The most difficult part of the annual tulip and daffodil blooming is being able to “get the shot” without people stepping into your scene just about the time you hit the shutter button. The agreement mentioned above, will make that problem less of an issue for you as you will find yourself out in the middle of a field with no one around. For many who visit this event, they will understand that professional photographers are there, trying to capture the beauty.
But, there are always a few who seem to feel that their time in the garden should not be constrained by photographers. As a suggestion, I would recommend you try and visit the tulip and daffodil fields and the various garden displays during mid-week. There seems to be less crowds, and shooting opportunities are better. During a sunny weekend is not the best time as the crowds are staggering; there are traffic jams and tons of people crowding the gardens.
I hope you enjoy the opportunity to visit the Skagit during the Tulip Festival