Friday, April 19, 2013

An Ode to Tulips

I know, I know, Odes are a form of poetry and have all kids of rules attached (thank you, Wikipedia), but I wanted to share a whole bunch of tulip pictures from my recent travels and it was a catchy title.

1. First, here is as good as it gets for tulips in my front yard:

Tulip bulbs age quickly, even with regular feeding, and need to be replaced almost yearly if you want a tulip full flower bed. The problem is, my flower bed is rather full in September and I can never remember where the blank spaces are that I could plant fresh bulbs. I've tried taking pictures in spring to document where all the bulbs are but then I can't find the pictures in the Fall when I need them. I've also tried the whole buy a pot of tulips and put the whole thing in a hole in the bed during the blooming season but those aged even faster (that is, when they came up the following year, they looked pathetic). So I've pretty much given up planting any new tulips in my front yard and instead enjoy the flowers of others with a less complicated life or who get paid to make the tulips look amazing.

2. On Thursday, my mother and I took a quick trip to Longwood Gardens. We got rained out after a couple of hours, but in the meantime, I got a few nice pictures:

I know, none of those are tulips. I did get one shot of a pretty tulip at Longwood, but because our weather in March was so cold, most of them aren't blooming yet. Here's the one I like:

My mother and I told ourselves we weren't going to take a zillion pictures in the orchid room this time. And we didn't; only about a dozen.

3. The reason there was no blog post last Friday was that Marshall and I left for our weekend away about 10 am. We spent a lovely weekend with cousins in Northern Virginia and did a few touristy things in the capital, like this:

It is a glorious show which I enjoyed thoroughly even though I'd seen most of the paintings before. We were there Friday afternoon and I could have happily gone back Saturday and Sunday, too.

Here's a tulip from outside the Natural History museum:

I really like the contrast with the ornamental cabbage.

4. And then on Saturday we walked through all the blooming flowers at the US Botanic Garden. Marshall uploaded all of our pictures to the same gallery, so I think some of these are due to his photographic skill, not mine.

5. Marshall spent a good part of the weekend trying to teach me how to use the camera on my phone, since it far exceeds our now-ancient hand-held camera that we bought when Alex was small. I'm getting better, but focus is still a challenge and it doesn't have a huge zooming capacity. But then, it's just a phone.

Here's some more pictures from the Botanic Garden:

Can you tell my favorite tulip color is orange?

6. We also made a stop at the Air & Space Museum. What I liked most was the rockets, like the V2 they have; it is terrifying to stand next to. But no Saturn V; that's in Florida at NASA. It's only when you stand underneath that massive rocket you realize, yet again, just how crazy those Apollo Astronauts were and how amazing their accomplishments were. If you haven't seen From the Earth to the Moon, rent it immediately! Or ask to borrow my copy.

Here's a few more photos for you:

7. If you missed all the drama at Conversion Diary, Jen had her baby a while back and although she was fine, her son was whisked off to the NICU and only just came home last night. So please keep praying for them. 7 Quick Takes is hosted at Camp Patton today.

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