Wednesday, April 04, 2012



It is hard to imagine that these supple, sensuous flowers grew wild in the mountains of Central Asia before they were brought to Europe from the Ottoman Empire and became so wildly valuable in the Dutch Golden Age that some single tulip bulbs were worth more then ten times the annual income of a skilled craftsman in 1637. "Tulip mania" is still the term for a maniacal financial bubble. The wealthiest era of the Ottoman Empire is called the "Tulip Era."

I love these flowers myself (though I didn't ransom the farm for them) and decided I had to create a slideshow of my photos in their honor. Most were photographed here on the farm, but some are at my university campus and in Holland, Michigan, where there is a Tulip Time festival every May. Temperatures were hot in March, and tulips are already blooming here (though these photos are from previous years), so I don't know what tulips will be left for Tulip Time. You'll see some little ones dressed up in Dutch costumes at Tulip Time a few years ago.

Happy Birthday to my husband, with whom I lived in the Ottoman Empire once upon a time, . . . oh wait, I guess he isn't that old! It was called Turkey by then.

I've paired Carla Cook singing Duke Ellington's classic "Tulip or Turnip" which really warms up my spring fever. Full screen is best (at YouTube if you can't enlarge it here).

Tell me, tell me, tell me, dreamface,
what am I to you?


Nelson said...

Yes, Ruthie, if you want to see the tulips this year in Holland MI (where I live), don't wait for Tulip Time, when only the late bloomers will still show....we have plenty of color now and I'd guess prime time to be in a week or so.

I love your from-ground-up shots, tulips against the sky.

Babs-beetle said...

Absolutely gorgeous! I thought I'd ring the changes with the adjective today :)

I love tulips but fear ours may not see the light this year with the strange weather we've had. No rain, hot sun for a week and now snow. Many daffodils came up with no heads!

Rubye Jack said...

My favorite flower!

Kathleen said...

Gorgeous! Thank you! Wonderful song, wonderful juxtaposition!

I have some bright yellow tulips open now, and red, and a particularly creamy peach.

Loring Wirbel said...

Are you trying to start a financial bubble? Dow was down 160 today. Seriously, great post.

Stratoz said...

Have you seen or read The Botany of Desire? One of the four featured plants is the tulip

California Girl said...

Happy Spring. Happy birthday to your husband. Thx again for directing me to the TED video.

Ruth said...

Nelson, I've been wondering what Holland will do this year? And whether it's ever happened before. I know some varieties open later than others, but that late might be a bit much to wish for. Just when Michigan's tourism is starting to pick up, this is a blow! Thanks, big brother.

Hello, Babs! You've had weather oddities generally in the opposite extremes from ours, but we've both had extremes. The poor plants are confused!

Rubye Jack, they are quite something, with so many different faces at different stages. Thank you.

Ruth said...

Thanks for listening and watching, Kathleen! Mmmm, creamy peach tulips are dreamy. But I love them all.

Loring, not me! Only tulip mania, but not of the economic variety!

Stratoz, no, but I'd like to, especially now!

California Girl, thank you for your spring greetings, and for my husband! And you are welcome for the intro to the Peter Diamandis TED video on the Abundance of the Future. I was quite encouraged by it.

The Solitary Walker said...

Wow, I was so impressed with your slideshow, Ruth. Just fabulous. Supple and sensuous indeed!

After a very warm end of March the temperatures here have plummeted back to winter levels again. Typical English weather.

Dutchbaby said...

I've hardly entered the blogosphere since my mother's fall, but this early morning a little voice told me to browse your blog and now I know why.

Fantastic celebration of this luscious flower. Love the Angeliques, the parrots, and the kissable shots from directly above. And the little ones dressed in costume, could they be Dutch Babies?

I enjoyed Carla Cook's wonderful delivery Duke's "Tulip or Turnip". The title reminds me of the time my elementary school teacher told our class that her family resorted to eating the bitter tulip bulb during WWII.

We will be vacationing in the Ottoman Empire this summer. I would love any advice you have to offer.

musicwithinyou said...

I love my tulips in my yard. Yes going to Holland,Michigan during tulip festival sounds like a great idea. I usually only make it to St Joseph but maybe this year I'll go a little farther and enjoy the tulips in Holland

Deb Colarossi said...

I think it's fitting, here on this the darkest day of Holy Week, that you light, ( and yes, Light ) .

peace to you now and always Ruth.

Thank you again and again.

Ginnie said...

BEAUTIFUL tulips, Ruthie, and especially for Don's birthday. So sweet. I love how you have managed to include the real Holland into your own Holland story. I feel so connected. :)