tulips in rain

 When I finally spotted the striped pink and white beauties growing along the whole East side block, they were days past their prime. Oh no — and they were the most beautiful tulips I’d seen all season.

tulip in rain

During a break in the rain the next day I grabbed my camera  and prayed the weather gods would let me get in some tulip shots if or before the skies opened up again. Rushing to 85th Street, I managed to grab a shot or two before heavy, no fooling around rain splashed around us. The air suddenly became chilly. And the wind picked up. A lot. To add to the drama, my small collapsible umbrella was not what you’d call effective in the situation. Big parts of me felt quickly wet. The most fun thing of course was trying to operate my camera which demanded two hands, which further meant the only thing to hold up my umbrella was my shoulder — a poor, shifting, constantly tilting substitute.

But what I saw in the screen finder quickly dispelled my discomfort. In that low light the colors of the blossoms and leaves were intensely rich. Bent by age, wind and the weight of the rain, the tulips stems curved sideways and down in graceful, sinuous curves. And the striking, aged blossoms unfurled their petals in sumptuous, inter-weaving patterns. Some tulips had already lost their heavy, bowed petals. This rain would probably finish most of them off. But for now I was grateful for the chance to capture their short-lived, fleeting beauty.


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