Snap! Snap! Snap! It was the sound of the tulips being dead-headed that got to us. The dozen or so workers, men and women, moved almost as a unit down the rows of fading and yet still bright red tulips, shearing off the blossoms with their hands, changing a flaming field of red to dull gray-green in a matter of a few minutes.
We were only a few yards away from the dead-heading action in the Mount Vernon tulip fields. The pregnant young woman standing next to me sighed, “It’s sad, isn’t it?”
What a brilliant time of year! Even the small dandelion in a crack of the sidewalk is an intense yellow. And the light is changing as the sun’s position to the earth changes. This morning, the first sunlight reflecting on a fogbank confused me for a moment–it seemed the sun was rising in the western sky.
Several days later we drove along the western side of Hood Canal and stopped at the Whitney Rhododendron Gardens. A little early, but still those splashes of color made us vow to return next spring. I’m guessing the rhodies will be at their best color right about now.
And then, a few days later, we made a trip to the Bloedel Gardens on Bainbridge Island where we saw more rhodies and azaleas, trillium, Dutchman’s breeches, the last of the camellias, and the first of the big, long-stemmed primroses. The skunk cabbage blossoms were gone, but their huge leaves looked like they’d been polished with oil.
What we see beyond the asphalt, beyond the sidewalks, is so dear in all the seasons, but in this particular season, it glows!
“Everyone needs beauty as well as bread, places to play and pray, where nature heals
and gives strength to body and soul alike.”