Dear Friends, April 15, 2017
Rain is the middle name of Washington. We are breaking records in rainfall this month; the old timers say they have never seen it so wet. And snow? Mount Baker is stunning with a white mantle in the distance as we turn a corner on the backroads and suddenly get to see the whole monty. The view is always stunning. They have measured 718 inches of snow on Kulshan (the Lummi Indian name for the mountain) this season, the most snow on any mountain in the U.S.
Sunshine has been scarce but it is really appreciated when we get a “sun break” as they call it. What astounds me is that Spring is here whether we feel it or not. There are new leaves on the raspberry vines, and buds on the maples in our back yard. Trees all over town are crowned with pink flowers; most of the apple trees are covered in white petals.
Even better, the daffodils are everywhere and we had a lovely trip to La Connor to see the daffodil festival a week ago. La Connor is in Skagit county which is a super fertile valley between the mountains and the ocean. This is where they have huge daffodil farms and even bigger tulip farms. The drive is short and within an hour we were in this fabulous little town of 9,000. The whole city is on the national registry for preservation. It was busy, hardly a place to park. You would think you were in Carmel California as the sophistication and style in the little downtown shops is high, with lots of good choices on places to eat and drink.
La Conner is on the Swinomish channel sitting on the mainland with Fidalgo island on the far bank. So, it’s protected, was settled in the 1870’s, and that’s probably why all the old buildings are still there. In the fields surrounding the town are the daffodil farms. Blazing yellow faces are a sunshine of their own as we stood next to a football sized field packed with daffodils in full bloom – one of the most beautiful sights I have ever experienced. Check the label if you buy tulips as the odds are good they came from Washington and the farms in the Skagit Valley. One farm alone planted 250,000 bulbs this year.
We will make the easy drive next week to see the tulip farms and get a fabulous blast of color, have a lovely lunch in La Conner and not be too concerned if it rains. You can see a picture of the tulips at www.LoveLa Conner.com and get more info there along with pics of the town. I was totally surprised at how cool this town was – the Museum of Northwest Art is there along with a quilt museum in the oldest Victorian house in town.
We are getting to be vets here in Birch Bay…and so enjoy the back roads, the green forest, the blue bay and the snow-covered mountains, rain does not diminish the fun and beauty. The flowers in front yards all over town tell us it’s Spring and we are delighted to be here.
Leslie has planted new flowers in our front bed and brought home three huge tubs now sitting in the side yard in which she will plant tomatoes. Diggity. We really love our little house and are cozy. Leslie’s favorite benefit: a heating vent under the cabinet that is under the sink, so while you are doing dishes, warm air flows over your feet – a small but very welcome design feature.
You don’t have to go far to find a cup of coffee in this area. We have our share of Starbucks, many are in grocery stores here. Then we have a local chain called Woods Coffee. They are as numerous at Starbucks but much more fun as they have stone fireplaces with a fire going that makes a seat inside welcome and warm. Plus, their grilled cheese sandwiches are unbeatable. And then we also have the independents…at least as many tiny little coffee shacks are scattered all over – “cool beans” is one of them. So, you are never far from a good cup of coffee and can buy from locals and enjoy a fireplace seat if you wish. Life is good in Washington and Spring is just beginning to bring color and life to the farmlands and orchards. As times change.