Saturday, May 15, 2021

Totally Tulips

Okay, the tulip bloom was actually a month ago, but you know me, always behind the times!  So you're getting an April tulip post in mid-May.  (Better late than never, am I right?)

Ominous rain clouds hang over the tulip fields

Located near the town of Woodburn, Oregon, a visit to the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm is a favorite spring tradition for area photographers.  In March and April, the farm opens their fields to the public.  With 40 acres of tulip fields, it's quite a sight to witness thousands of colorful tulips in bloom.  Closed in 2020 due to COVID, I sorely missed my annual tulip trip.  It was especially wonderful to have the festival open again this year.

Rows of yellow sunshine

Wanting flexibility in visitation, I bought an all-access "photographer pass" for 2021.  Along with  unrestricted access to the fields, this pass also provided early and late sunrise/sunset privileges.

Sunrise at the tulip farm

I used my pass for the first time in late March, when my neighbor and photography mentor Cheri suggested we run out one afternoon to check on the tulip status.  There weren't many fields in bloom yet, but we did capture some ominous rain clouds hanging over the farm (and got drenched a short time later!)

Surprise hot air balloon launch!

A couple of weeks later, I decided to get up early and catch sunrise at the tulip farm.  I thought a Tuesday morning wouldn't be very busy, so I was surprised to find a couple dozen photographers out in the fields, their tripods lining the rows.

Drifting over the tulips

The only glitch for sunrise was one of the neighboring farmers who decided to start up a burn pile right before daybreak.  The smoke traveled upward in exactly the place that the sun was supposed to rise.  Ugh!  Good thing I have photoshop....

Another colorful balloon

I was so concentrated on capturing sunrise, I didn't see two hot air balloons inflating on the far side of the fields.  A nice man with his tripod set up next to mine pointed the balloons out, otherwise I would've totally missed them.

My favorite shot of the balloons

I enjoyed photographing the colorful balloons almost more than the tulips!  And I edited many more balloon than tulip images from that morning.

Yellow tulip bedazzled with dewdrops

After the sun rose and the balloons drifted away, most of the photographers left.  I however stuck around capturing some of the tulips in detail.  Such as the dewdrops on this lovely yellow variety.

Deep red beauties

A local news crew happened to be there that morning, and I had fun watching them do a few live broadcasts for the morning news.  I even chatted with the very friendly cameraman between takes.

Loved the soft pink and mauve combination

My third trip to the tulip festival came a couple of weeks later.  I suggested to Cheri we capture sunset one evening and she was all for it.

Cheri doing what she does best

Arriving at the tulip farm, we were amazed to discover another huge field in a totally different location.  In my two prior visits, I hadn't noticed this field.  It was enormous, and full of thousands of tulips of every color you could imagine.

Another favorite color

Cheri and I got right to work, capturing each tulip color, row by row.  We had a couple of tulips that were our favorites.  We both liked the pink and mauve color combination.  And I loved the yellow tulips with a tiny splash of red in the middle.

Endless fields of flowers

But my favorite field of all was the one with the multicolored tulips.  It was a gigantic kaleidoscope! We decided to set up at the edge of this field and capture sunset over the sea of different colors.

Mt Hood sighting

But first a quick capture of Mt Hood towering behind a wave of red tulips.

Wonderful light at sunset

As the sun began to drop we caught some wonderful light glowing across the field, backlighting the flowers nicely.

Colorful sky just after sunset

Sadly the sunset wasn't very spectacular.  However, right after the sun finally dropped, the sky glowed with a lovely pink hue.  I actually liked the images I captured after sunset better than the sunset itself.  

The tulip fields are now done for another season.  But posting these images and writing about my photographic experiences have brought the happy memories back for me.  I hope they bring some joy to your day too.


  1. WOW! They are gorgeous Linda and I would love to see them from the hot air balloon. Have a great week ahead

  2. Hello,
    I love the tulips and the hot air balloons. Lovely series of photos. Have a great day and a happy new week!

  3. ...there can never be too many tulips.

  4. Thank you so much for sharing these. I have always said that the only over seas place I would care to visit is Holland, during tulip time. Maybe I could just go stateside and see the Tulip farm you have featured.

  5. Spectacular, Linda!You captured some lovely lighting,too. I have a bulb basket given to me on Mother's Day. I'm enjoying it as it blooms. First Sweet Woodruff, then Hyacinth, and now Tulips. I hope I have a few days when they're all blooming together!

  6. Didn't realize you had Tulip fields down in Oregon. Absolutely beautiful! We saw those in the Skagit valley.

  7. I had a good time at the tulip festival in mid April. Got there a bit before 4 p.m. Lots of sunshine and windy. I went to get items at gift store then went to 1st field by parking lot. I did take some photos there. Then drove to other field. Was there til after sunset. I read your post this a.m. then was on FB. A friend who lives in Hubbard shared a photo of a hot air balloon near their house. Good to see hot air balloons. I shared a few tulip photos in a blog post "in remembrance of." I enjoy seeing your photos.

  8. So gorgeous! My son always sends me tulips for Mother's Day and I am intrigued that may even come from this farm or one near it!

  9. I love tulips, they are such beautiful, colorful and elegant flowers.
    Wonderful photos, I would love to be there watching all this world of color and beauty.

  10. Ahhhh, I am so glad you got your tulip fix this year! lovely images!

  11. Absolutely stunning colour and blooms. What a bonus, clear sky day, Mt Hood and hot air balloon!

  12. Great colors! The concept of a photographer's pass is intriguing.

  13. Gosh when I saw the first photos I thought where in the world is she! Beautiful, colourful and cheerful!


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