snow geese

Tulip Festival 2013 – La Conner and Mount Vernon, WA

The fields burst into color April 15 this year, a Monday, and carried through the weekend of April 20-21 in vibrant shades of gorgeous solid and variegated petals in every color imaginable. There was plenty of mud on those rainy days early in the month, but even that added to the unique experience of going to the Tulip Festival Farms.   On the sunny and partly sunny days, the alpacas and kites really stood out, and more guests took the tractor-trolley through the fields.  This year we found more opportunities to park on the shoulders of the roads, and found new parking lots at some of the fields. We also notice more flower stands across the valley and in La Conner to purchase fresh-cut flowers.

Our tours were all very fun, as usual, and our guests included both travelers to the Seattle area and we had more locals!

We only saw a gaggle of snow geese on one of the tours.  One of our guests was from Fairbanks, AK, and said most of the snow geese had returned home to Alaska and Canada.  She lives near where the snow geese live!

Next year we will have one of the tours stop for lunch in Mount Vernon instead of in La Conner, so we can experience the Mount Vernon street fair. The street fair is very fun and festive, and I especially enjoy going into the large Mount Vernon used book store.  There are several rooms of books and has a very large selection.

Okay, that’s it for this year!  Enjoy the photos.

Cheryl

 

MIGRATORY EAGLES AND SNOW GEESE

MIGRATORY EAGLES AND SNOW GEESE
January 19, 2013

For our first Free caravan trip of 2013 we’re heading to the Skagit Valley, in Northwest Washington State. Join us January 19, when we go in search of our countries symbol, the Bald Eagle. Many of these birds migrate to the Skagit Valley each year in December & January when the local salmon are spawning up the river. The majestic birds leave after the spawning ends, according to www.eaglefestival.org.

At the Interpretive Center we’ll hear a speaker, and there are local experts on hand to help us find these beautiful birds.

We’ll also venture to Fir Island, to see the migrating Snow Geese and Trumpeter Swans. Here we’re expecting to see the migratory Snow Geese and Trumpeter Swans that also migrate to the area. There could be as as many as 20,000 snow geese in these fields! Though not a sure thing, it is probable we’ll see many of these birds throughout the fields.

Excerpt from http://wdfw.wa.gov/lands/wildlife_areas/skagit/Fir%20Island%20Farms%20Reserve/

Fir Island Farms Reserve Unit

“This managed agricultural land (225 acres on the south side of Fir Island Road) was purchased in 1995 to create a snow goose reserve. This non-hunted reserve provides a winter-feeding and resting area for snow geese adjacent to the Skagit Bay estuary. A local farmer is contracted to plant a cover crop of winter wheat for snow geese after harvesting cash crops. This sharecropper also plants winter wheat on his adjoining property and places his farm in a formal game reserve, providing an additional 295 acres of winter food and resting area for the snow geese. Prior to dike development and conversion to agricultural uses after human settlement, this area was tidally influenced, and the North Fork of the Skagit River flowed through Dry Slough during high flows. This unit is a popular wildlife watching site, and has a gravel road and parking area with access for the disabled. “

This trip is FREE thanks to Cheryl’s Northwest Tours LLC. Donations to support the eagle program are welcome at the Eagle Festival facility. Our caravan plan involves you using your own vehicle to follow on our adventure. We’ll meet up at Denny Park in Seattle, corner of Dexter Ave N and John at 9:00AM, and return approximately 5:00PM. See our flyer for more details.

Eagles-Flyer