Monday, April 28, 2014

Whatcom Falls Park

On April 11th we had opportunity to get out and do some hiking and photography with son Edward, who was off school that day.  One of the places we visited was Whatcom Falls Park, a beautiful park in Bellingham along Whatcom Creek and including a fish hatchery, numerous trails and several beautiful waterfalls.

Most of the devastated area, downstream from the falls, is now regrown, but in 1999 there was a gas pipeline that ruptured and sent gas down the creek which subsequently exploded, turning the creek into a river of fire, killing three people and destroying one house:

It was very bright and sunny when we arrived and photographs of the falls were difficult, so I've included some older pictures as well that I've not posted before.  We did not stay very long either, since it was getting later in the day and we had done two other hikes and were weary.  So we started for a place to have our evening meal and then home. 

The Lower Falls

The Upper Falls

The Bridge

The Creek and the Woods

The Park

Monday, April 21, 2014

Skagit Valley Tulips

We made one trip to the Skagit Valley the beginning of April to see the daffodil fields in bloom.  The Skagit Valley lies halfway between Seattle and the Canadian border and is home to the bulb growers, whose fields of daffodils and tulips are a feast for the eyes.  I've already posted the pictures from the first excursion, but at that time the tulips were only just starting and so we made another excursion to the area nearer the end of April when the daffodils were finished but the tulips blooming.

The end of April and beginning of May a tulip festival is held in the area and the traffic and the crowds are horrific, especially on the weekends.  We went on a Monday, hoping to avoid the crowds, but by noon there were too many people for our liking and we went to Washington Park for a few hours, returning at about 5:00 when the crowds had thinned and we were better able to enjoy the display gardens.  These pictures are all from that trip, a trip we make nearly every year.

We went early in the morning and went first to the fields where we photographed the endless rows of tulips, including a field where the flowers had been removed in order to prepare the bulbs for sale.  Finished at the fields went to the display gardens at Roozengaarde's, one of the bulb growers.  The garden there have thousands of tulips planted and for a small entrance fee we were able to spend as much time there as we wanted and to come back later in the day.

The Fields