Over the last few weeks my Instagram feed has been cluttered (and I mean that in the nicest possible way) with photos taken at tulip fields in Woodburn, OR and Mount Vernon, WA. Tulips are one of my favorite flowers. Crowds are not. And crowds flock to both of those locations. Full-lock. What do I not dig (besides crowds)? People cluttering my tulip photos.
Which is why I headed south on Sunday morning. To Mossyrock, WA. Where? Mossy. Rock. Home to DeGoede Bulb Farm & Gardens. Do they have acres and acres of tulip fields? Nope. But, I have a macro lens…I make small things look big. And I have a landscape lens…I make narrow things look wide. Or something like that. That’s probably why I don’t photograph people.
I arrived at DeGoede around 9:45 after driving an hour and twenty minutes (will drive for tulips). I headed to where the tulips usually are and…saw nothing but turned soil. Are you kidding me??!! That had just posted a few days earlier that the tulips were peaking…certainly they wouldn’t have already harvested and plowed??!! I popped into the garden center and was like, “Uhhh…the tulips? Where? Tulips??” She smiled and said, “Oh, we rotate the crops…they’re across the road this year.” Yup. Across the road. If I had looked left as I turned in I would have seen them. But, I was focused. Tulip tunnel vision.
I slipped on my rubber boots and stepped into the field. The only one there. Just how I like it. I wandered up and down, round and round, switching between macro and landscape as the mood hit me. Deep into the field I noticed others pull up, step up to the edge, take a few photos, get back in their cars and leave. Sorry, peeps, I was the asshole standing in the middle of the field cluttering your photo. Hopefully the tulips absorbed me when I crouched to get up-close-and-personal.
After 150 shots or so I called it a day. Meaning I surfaced. Photography is like that for me. I start shooting and time stops, noises fade…it’s just me and my craft. When I, at last, become aware of my surroundings again it’s like coming up from deep water…breaking the surface and taking a deep breath of air. It’s a good, good thing.
I returned to the garden store where I bought cut tulips (of course) and a beautiful hanging basket. Their baskets are truly gorgeous. It’s a snidge early, but I was there…it was there…it came home with me.
Not enough additional thoughts to fill the space between photos, but sometimes pretty photos are better than words.