I know I said Thursday would be my last tulip photos for a while but since Sally’s mobile photography challenge is on vacation until May 5th I thought I’d share one more post from the Skagit Valley. The annual Tulip Festival is a favorite with photographers as well as fun day trip for the family but it’s important to remember that along with the beautiful display gardens and $5 off-road parking these beautiful fields belong to working farms and tulips are big business.
While paying visitors slowly walk around the perimeter of these large bulb fields the hired pickers work long shifts carefully selecting almost opened stems to bundle for sale in the gift shops and flower stands through the valley. Greenhouse grown tulips and daffodils are available year round but field grown flowers are prized for their longer length and deeper colors and are only available for a few weeks each year. This group of pickers quietly worked through their Sunday morning shift morning filling wood crates with perfect stems and though I noticed most people tried to avoid including them in their photos I thought the crews hard work should be noted as part of the tulip story.