Wednesday, March 29, 2017

It Was A Long Stormy Night Last Night In North Texas

Last night, around half past eight, my time, Spencer Jack's dad, my Favorite Nephew Jason, text messaged me asking...

Have you been hit by a thunderstorm tonight? NBC Nightly News reported severe weather for your region.

I replied a long reply which basically said no thunderstorm had yet struck my location, but such was expected to happen as the night progressed.

Sometime around midnight rain being to fall, with some frozen pellets of small size mixed in, judging the pellets to be small because they did not make much noise. Eventually thunder did boom. But the lightning strikes never got closer than about five miles, judging by counting the seconds between flash and boom.

When I woke up my phone this morning I saw Miss Puerto Rico had texted me at two in the morning, telling me all hell have broken out at her location in east Fort Worth, with the power knocked out, wicked wind blowing and tornado sirens blaring.

Soon thereafter, whilst checking in on my various online news sources, I was to learn DFW was hit hard by last night's storm, with tornadoes, hail damage, other wind damage and thousands with their power knocked out.

As you can see above, via the view looking north this morning on the Wichita Falls Circle Trail, the sky is still looking a bit stormy. The wind is still blowing, but the temperature is in the mid 60s, so I was able to have myself a pleasant endorphin inducing high speed walk in my Caribbean neighborhood, going as far as Haiti and then visiting Barbados.

I heard from Miss Puerto Rico a short while ago that her power is still out. I have now been in Wichita Falls for almost a year, with nary a single power outage, not even a flicker.

I think we may be in for a very stormy, windy spring in North Texas and Tornado Alley....

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

17th Anniversary Of Downtown Fort Worth Tornado

I was surprised today when I read it was 17 years ago today that I experienced my first Texas tornado. It seems way more recent than that.

A couple hours from now, 17 years ago, I was driving to downtown Fort Worth, heading south from my Haslet home location, in far north Fort Worth. The house was in Haslet, the mailbox was in Fort Worth.

I was heading to the University of North Texas Medical Center area to meet up with someone, for reasons I no longer remember.

As I headed south I was seeing a weather phenomenon the likes of which I'd never seen. A big dark greenish gray wall of clouds, looking a sort of ominous which seemed to be obvious danger. Lightning was bolting in the greenish gray cloud.

I was a couple miles south of my abode, driving on Blue Mound Road when my phone rang. It was the person I was heading to meet telling me to turn around, that something bad was underway in the downtown Fort Worth zone.

At that point in time it was not  known by the caller that that bad thing was a tornado.  All she knew was everyone had been ordered to head to a safe place.

I did as instructed and turned around. By the time I got back to my abode the proverbial all hell had broken loose.

Huge balls of hail pounded the roof with a volume of noise which made it sound as if the roof could not last long before being pummeled into oblivion.

I do not remember at what point I learned tornadoes had struck Fort Worth. At some point in time during the following hours I learned a young man had been killed by grapefruit sized hail which struck him as he was heading to his car, hoping to move it to cover.

Eventually we learned of the tornadoes, and gradually of the damage done, and others killed. It was hours later I learned the person I had been heading to meet was safe.

I do not remember if it was the following day, or several days later that I pedaled my bike past the barriers blocking off downtown Fort Worth and took photos of the damage. You can see those photos on the webpage  I made about the Fort Worth Tornado. That is three of the photos, in thumbnail version, you see above.

Today, on this 17th Anniversary of the deadly, destructive Fort Worth tornado, the forecast for North Texas is for possibly severe thunderstorms, with hail. The type weather which spawns tornadoes...

Monday, March 27, 2017

Another Smoking Hot Wichita Falls Wok Up Call

In all the years at my previous Texas location I never set off all the fire alarms. As of today I have now done so twice, within a year, at my new Texas location.

Both alarming incidents have been Chinese food related.

The first occurred a couple months ago. I had turned the wok heating unit on high, inserted some oil into the wok, and them went to another room to attend to something else.

When I walked back to the kitchen I instantly saw flames shooting out of the wok. I moved fast and removed the wok from its heat source. And then compounded the problem by pouring flaming oil into the sink.

Pouring flaming wok oil into a sink had a sort of explosive effect.

Soon after the explosion I was able to put out the flames, but not before enough smoke had been generated to set of a half dozen real noisy fire alarms. I quickly opened windows and doors and then one by one killed the fire alarms. Some of the alarms have a button, such as you see above, which one holds down to shut it up.

Literally shut it up. Four of the alarms in this place turn into the robot on Lost in  Space, robotically repeating  "WARNING WARNING WARNING EVACUATE TO A SAFE  PLACE WARNING WARNING WARNING" over and over again. Four alarms in verbal warning mode at once is pretty much an annoying cacophony.

Pushing the shut up button turns the message into something less dramatic, like "You are turning off the fire alarm. Are you sure there is no danger?" Or something like that. It happens so fast it's hard to remember, and I don't feel like starting a fire, whilst holding paper and pen, to get an exact quote.

Two of the alarms do not have a shut up button. To shut them up requires yanking them from the ceiling and pulling the battery.

With today's incident there were no flames, just a little smoke. I was peacefully stirring a wok full of various vegetables when suddenly the nearest fire alarm went off, followed by the others. I quickly removed the wok from its heat source and opened windows and doors and began the shutting up the alarms process.

From this day forth I will try to remember to open the window which is adjacent to the woking location so as to not  go through this a third time...

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Thrashing No Pecan Trees Today In Lucy Park

I have been having myself  some computer aggravation the past two days. Usually I figure out what is causing this type aggravation and then be done with it.

This instance of computer aggravation continues with the cause still  a mystery. I  am giving up typing for now to try some more to figure out what is wrong.

Okay, I am back. Right now I am back typing and so far, with no aggravation.

To escape my computer I went to Lucy Park today for a pleasant Sunday stroll.

That would make that the Lucy Park suspension bridge you are looking at above. A bridge over the Wichita River, built, I assume, when water was flowing through the river, and not the preferred Fort Worth method of slowly trying to build bridges over dry land.

I also assume the Lucy Park Suspension Bridge was likely built in much less time than the now five year projected construction timeline of Fort Worth's pitiful little bridges being built over dry land to connect the Fort Worth mainland to an imaginary island, originally with a four year construction timeline, but currently stalled for over a year.

After crossing the Wichita River via a swaying suspension bridge I was stopped by the sign year see below.


In Lucy Park a sign STOPs one with a warning "DO NOT THRASH PECAN TREES". I have no idea how or why one would want to thrash a pecan tree. The tree right next to this sign was a big oak with a lot of acorns on the ground. I do not know if it is okay to thrash the Lucy Park oak trees.

Flowers were a-blooming today in Lucy Park. I am fairly certain the blooms I saw were not wildflowers. The blooms seemed too organized to be wildflowers.


Above is an example of the aforementioned flowers a-blooming. There were being colorful at the base of the Lucy Park Japanese Pagoda.

Does anyone know why there are so many Japanese style pagoda type structures at various locations in Wichita Falls?

Did Wichita Falls host a Japanese Internment Camp during World  War II. Are the Japanese pagodas some sort of homage to that bad behavior from long ago when Japanese-Americans were unfairly, wrongly victimized?

Well, I seem to have successfully managed to type a few words with nothing interfering. After multiple restores and restarts and file deletions are my compu-woes now over?  I certainly hope so....

Friday, March 24, 2017

Looking For What Fort Worth's Stalled Boondoggle Needs To Find

I saw what you see here this morning in the Seattle Times. Another instance of something I read in a west coast online news source I would not be expecting to be reading in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram about something going on in Fort Worth and the county of Tarrant, in which Fort Worth is located.

In the $225 million more needed to build light rail across I-90 bridge article there were a couple bits info of the sort one would not be reading about Fort Worth's bizarre Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision, affectionately known as America's Biggest Boondoggle.

Five paragraphs from the Seattle Times article....

The cost to build light rail on Interstate 90 between Seattle and Bellevue has zoomed $225 million higher than Sound Transit once estimated, now that final engineering work has revealed the challenge of retrofitting the roadway.

Transit-board members voted unanimously to approve a contract increase Thursday afternoon with construction group Kiewit-Hoffman.

The additional money would come out of contingency funds for the Eastside line, without causing delays or a tax increase.

The vote raises the contract amount to $712 million for 7 miles of work, from the International District/Chinatown Station to South Bellevue. It’s a crucial phase in creating a $3.7 billion East Link corridor to downtown Bellevue and Overlake, where train service is scheduled to begin in 2023.

The job includes building the world’s only trackway on a floating bridge. The roadway moves with Lake Washington’s water level and must be kept buoyant despite the weight of tracks, ties and trains to be placed in the existing express lanes.
________________

First off, let's talk about the transparency inherent in the above information. Fort Worth's pitiful Trinity River Vision (short version of the ever changing project name) has had a mysterious malady cause the cessation of construction of the Boondoggle's three simple bridges being built over dry land to connect the Fort Worth mainland to an imaginary island. The bridge construction halt has gone on for over a year now.

The Boondoggle's boondogglers have not shared with the public why their bridge construction area has become a construction ghost town. And due to the fact that Fort Worth does not have a real newspaper engaging in this practice called investigative journalism, no one knows what has actually gone wrong with the Ghost Bridges.

Unlike the Sound Transit Light Rail project, Fort Worth's embarrassing boondoggle has never been funded in the way most public works projects are funded. Voters in the Sound Transit area have approved multiple funding measures over the years. Voters in Fort Worth have never been allowed to vote for what has become a boondoggly mess directed by a local  politician's unqualified son.

The Sound Transit project design has built in contingency funding to cover unforeseen cost increases.
 
No one knows how much extra funding will be needed if Fort Worth's cloudy vision ever becomes something someone can see. For instance, the diversion dam, which will direct flood waters into the ditch which may be dug under those three stalled bridges, has not been designed and engineered, yet. Who knows how much such a thing will cost?

In one of the above paragraphs from the Seattle Times article mention is made of the fact that the $3.7 billion East Link from downtown Seattle to Bellevue will begin train service in 2023.

In a Star-Telegram propaganda piece about America's Biggest Boondoggle's stalled bridges J.D. Granger was quoted as saying, "the project's infrastructure should be completed by 2023". No one knows what J.D. means by infrastructure.

I am no longer living in the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle zone, so my mailbox no longer sees the bizarre quarterly Trinity River Vision Authority Updates.  Currently I assume the Summer Update has arrived in people's mailboxes and that it is a slick full color propaganda production touting all the floating on the river music events upcoming, along with other bits of fluffy nonsense, with no mention made of the stalled bridges or any of the other myriad problems.

The Trinity River Vision Boondoggle has never had a project timeline. Periodically the propaganda will tout something as having a timeline, such as having a big bang TNT ceremony for the start of construction of one of those bridges, with a  four year project timeline, to build a simple bridge over dry land. Now stalled for over a year.

Public works projects in modern parts of America have project timelines, and full transparency regarding the progress of the project.

For instance, below is a simple graphic from the WSDOT, via the Seattle Times. Have you seen anything similar from America's Biggest Boondoggle? Anything even this simple?


The Trinity River Central City Uptown  Panther Island District Vision can not produce a map showing what is under construction.

I suppose a map could be produced showing what has been constructed, and then gone out of business, like the highly touted Cowtown Wakepark.

I guess a project graphic map could show where the Boondoggle has produced an embarrassing water venue with an imaginary pavilion sitting on an imaginary island, with really cool concrete enclosed outhouses with outdoor showers to wash off the dirty river water when one finishes a Rockin' the River Happy Hour Inner Tube Float....

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Gruesome Murder Mystery On Wichita Falls Circle Trail

Approximately a quarter mile east of Mount Wichita, on the Circle Trail, in Lake Wichita Park, I came upon the death scene you see here.

If this were located on a road with vehicular traffic I would assume the armadillo was the victim of a hit and run.

But, there is no motorized vehicular traffic on the Circle Trail, except for city employees driving vehicles like oversized golf carts to empty trash cans.

Years ago at Gateway Park in Fort Worth I came upon a murdered armadillo, clearly the victim of a gunshot wound.

The Wichita Falls Circle Trail dead armadillo had no obvious cause of death, at least to my amateur forensic pathologist eyes.

Why would anyone murder an armadillo? Armadillos are such cute creatures. I tried to find the Texas armadillo due to foul play death rate, to no avail, but I did find the declaration by which the armadillo was named the State Small Mammal of Texas....

HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION

WHEREAS, The State of Texas traditionally has recognized a variety of official state symbols as tangible representations of the proud spirit and heritage of our state; and

WHEREAS, The bluebonnet, the pecan tree, the Guadalupe bass, and the lightning whelk are examples of some natural specimens that serve to symbolize the great diversity of the Texas landscape, while the state dish, chili, fittingly represents another aspect of our shared culture as Texans; and

WHEREAS, In keeping with this custom, the designation of an Official State Mammal of Texas has been the subject of an extensive statewide mock election participated in by hundreds of elementary schoolchildren throughout our state; and

WHEREAS, The two front-runners in this race have been the armadillo and the longhorn; and

WHEREAS, Once the cornerstone of the Texas cattle industry, an estimated 10 million longhorns were herded from Texas to midwestern and western markets during the quarter century that followed the Civil War, providing invaluable stability to the state's postwar economy; and

WHEREAS, The longhorn's distinctive profile commands an immediate association with the State of Texas nationwide and is fittingly used as a visual symbol by businesses from the Rio Grande Valley to the Panhandle; and

WHEREAS, The other candidate for designation as Official State Mammal, the armadillo is a hardy, pioneering creature that chose to begin migrating here at about the time that Texas became a state; and

WHEREAS, The armadillo possesses many remarkable and unique traits, some of which parallel the attributes that distinguish a true Texan, such as a deep respect and need for the land, the ability to change and adapt, and a fierce undying love for freedom; and

WHEREAS, As proud and indomitable as the state from which they hail, both the longhorn and the armadillo will serve as fitting symbols of Texas' unique heritage; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the 74th Legislature of the State of Texas hereby designate the longhorn the official Large State Mammal of Texas and the armadillo the official Small State Mammal of Texas.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Why Is No Move Fort Worth Building 50 Blocks Of New Sidewalks?

This blogging falls into the category of news I read in west coast online news sources, usually the Seattle Times, about news I would not expect to be reading in a Texas newspaper about a similar subject in Texas, or in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram about something to do with Fort Worth.

Today we have a double dose of such items.

The first is a headline on the front page of the Seattle Times, online. An article about a recipe adding marijuana to a homemade chocolate-nut spread.

A couple days ago I read an article about a trio of Texans who were refusing to be Medical Tourists, forced to travel to California, Oregon, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Canada or other civilized areas of the world and America to legally acquire marijuana to treat their medical woe.

If I remember right this trio of Texans were veterans, you know, veterans of military service, wounded defending our supposed freedoms, one of which, for a large part of America, including Texas, is not the freedom to choose to treat an ailment with the well known effective treatment of cannabis, because, you know, unlike being in a war, marijuana is dangerous and needs the government to protect you from its danger.

Over the years I have multiple times verbalized my disgust at Fort Worth's backwardness regarding sidewalks.

(That and Fort Worth's multiple city parks without modern facilities such as running water and restrooms, with, instead, way too many outhouses)

Time and time again, in Fort Worth, I was appalled to see a young mom pushing a baby carriage on a dirt path worn into the side of a busy road.

Or an elderly person wobbling on a cane.

Such third world backwardness would not be tolerated in most towns in America, and much of the rest of the world.

So, this week Seattle's mayor and other city leaders announced a $22 million plan to build 50 blocks of new sidewalks this year.

Funds for this sidewalk upgrade come from the $930 million Move Seattle levy voters voted for in 2015.

Imagine that. A town's voters allowed to vote on something which improves their city. Quite the contrast with a town like Fort Worth, where voters have not been allowed to vote on a public works project with a price tag about the same as Seattle's Move On project.

Fort Worth's public works  project, which the public has never voted for, is known as the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District, or, more commonly, America's Biggest Boondoggle.

Apparently Seattle is going to upgrade 50 blocks of sidewalks this year.

Fort Worth's Boondoggle has been boondoggling along for most of this century with little constructive to show for the effort, but currently showing a large area of ghost town-like wasteland where a bridge was once being built, with the entire fiasco symbolized by a bizarre traffic roundabout in the ghost town zone with a giant aluminum homage to a trash can at its center...

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Spencer Jack Takes Me Down Ghost Town Memory Lane Over Washington Waterfalls

Last night, somewhere in the 9 in the evening time frame, my phone made its telltale incoming text message noise.

I was distracted by other noises at the time, so it was several minutes later I looked at the phone to see the text message.

It was from Spencer Jack and my Favorite Nephew Jason.

No text message, just three photos of which you see two here.

When I saw the photos on the phone my first reaction was I was looking at Snoqualmie Falls in flood mode.

But then I got the photos off the phone and saw the full size versions and saw that this was not Snoqualmie Falls falling a lot of water.


Looking at the above photo I became almost 100% certain that that which I was looking at is Granite Falls.

Granite Falls is also a town, named after the falls, a few miles to the south (or is it west? I am losing memory of these type details) from where Spencer Jack is taking a picture. Granite Falls is at the southern entry to what is known as the Mountain Loop.

Driving the Mountain Loop takes one into the Cascade Mountains and the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, with many attractions along the way, such as the infamous Big Four Ice Caves. And the Monte Christo ghost town.

In 1889 a gold rush came to this area, with Monte Christo becoming a gold boom town til 1907 and then a sort of tourist town til Monte Christo eventually became the ghost town it is today.

A railroad was built to take the Monte Christo gold out and bring supplies in, with that railroad running, in many locations, alongside the Stillaguamish River, which is the river making the falls you see above.

Building this railroad was quite a feat of engineering, requiring tunnels and treacherous bridges. The railroad did not last long, but remnants remain. Back in the last decade of the previous century Spencer Jack's Favorite Uncle Joey and I hiked the trail which follows the abandoned railroad, along with hundreds of other hikers. It was a scary trail, what with much of it being beside that raging river, with us hikers having to hike on the remains of bridges and make our way through dripping tunnels.

I remember two kayakers passing by and being appalled, knowing as I did that a few miles downstream those kayakers would come to Granite Falls. I figured they must know what they were doing, with a safe exit point before coming to the falls.

If you go to the webpage I made years ago about the Cascade Mountains, you will see some of what one finds on the Mountain Loop, such as Mount Pilchuck, and my Favorite Nephews, Chris and Jeremy taking me to the Big Four Ice Caves.

Like I think I already said, the town of Granite Falls is named after the town's nearby waterfall. The town I am currently in, Wichita Falls, is also named after a waterfall. But, that little three foot waterfall on the Wichita River was obliterated by a flood in 1886.

For 100 years, give or take a year, visitors to Wichita Falls were asking where the waterfall was.

Eventually the townspeople tired of explaining why there was no falls in Wichita Falls, so an artificial waterfall was built, near Lucy Park, visible, when the waterfall is turned on, from the 287 freeway, easily seen if you are southbound, possible to see, if you know where to look, when you are northbound.

I wonder if Spencer Jack has yet taken his dad to Nooksack Falls? Nooksack Falls is the scariest waterfall I have ever been scared by. One can climb to all sorts of precarious locations at Nooksack Falls.

One of the many blessings of living in relatively flat Texas is I have never been scared by a Texas waterfall. Ironically, though, I have been scared by Texas water.

The Trinity River comes to mind...

UDDATE: This morning Spencer Jack sent me video he shot of his dad at Granite Falls. This video arrived upside down and sped up super fast. I was able to turn it upside right and slow the video down, somewhat, but it still sort of looks like a color version of a long ago silent movie---

Monday, March 20, 2017

Can You Watch The Fort Worth Boondoggle's Bridges Make No Progress On Live Cam?

I know what you think you are looking at here.

J.D. Granger and one of his minions in the control room monitoring the ongoing progress of the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision.

Also affectionately known as America's Biggest Boondoggle.

No, that is not America's Biggest Boondoggle's control room you see here in the Trinity River Vision Authority's headquarters on the ground floor of the Boondoggle's partner in propaganda, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

America's Biggest Boondoggle has no control room where the lack of progress of that ongoing slow motion project is monitored.

Is the Boondoggle's live cam still aimed at that one and only of the Boondoggle's three simple little bridges to have sort of  reached construction mode, but halted over a year ago, due to mysterious undisclosed problems?

The control room you are looking at above is not in Fort Worth. It is underground in Seattle. That control room is part of the world's biggest tunnel boring machine, nicknamed Bertha, who is nearing the completion of her boring task.

Unlike Fort Worth, Bertha and other Seattle public works projects are totally transparent operations. When Bertha ran into a snag a couple years ago there was no cover  up, no dissembling, no hiding.

The problem and the fix were all out in the open, literally.

Such a contrast with how a backwards backwater corrupt town like Fort Worth operates.

Or does not operate.

There are multiple online locations where one can monitor the progress of Bertha and the ongoing Seattle waterfront re-build.

Fort Worth's congresswoman, Kay Granger, has dementedly propagandized that Fort Worth's pitiful Trinity River Vision is the largest urban water project in North America.

I mentioned this ridiculous Kay Granger assertion in a blog post on the day the Boondoggle had its explosive start of bridge construction ceremony way back on November 11, 2014. titled A Big Boom Begins Boondoggle Bridge Construction Three Months Late. A couple paragraphs from that blogging, one of which mentions Bertha...

Apparently Kay Granger is not at all surprised at the length of time it is taking to secure those federal dollars, because she knew it was going to take a long time because “It’s the largest urban water project in North America. It’s huge.” 

The only other urban water project currently underway in North America, which I am aware of, is Seattle's re-do of its waterfront seawall, along with replacing a section of waterfront elevated highway with a big tunnel, to the tune of several billion dollars. Already fully funded, with no unseemly begging, 

A couple years ago Bertha hit that snag, well, actually an unexpected big chunk of steel, which halted her for about a year. But, unlike the TRCCUPIV's stalled bridges, Bertha got herself fixed and back to tunneling, and is now nearing the tunnel completion point, in a much shorter time frame than the four years which was originally claimed it was going  to take for the Boondoggle to build three simple little bridges over dry land to connect the Fort Worth mainland to an imaginary island.

There is no project timeline for Fort Worth's Trinity River Vision. There have been multiple instances of shifting estimates of the completion dates of aspects of the Boondoggle, such as within the past year J.D. Granger has been quoted saying "the project's infrastructure should be completed by 2023".

One can assume that part of that infrastructure is the three simple little bridges being built over dry land whose construction has been halted for a year.

Contrast America's Biggest Boondoggle's lack of any sort of project timeline, or project accountability, or transparency with Seattle's Bertha project. Go to WSDOT's Follow Bertha webpage where you will find all sorts of information, including the interactive project timeline graphic you see screen capped below.
Among the tidbits of info you will find on the Follow Bertha webpage you will find the following up to date stats about Bertha's progress...

UPDATED MON AND THURS
As of March 16, 2017: 556 feet remaining
Total rings built: 1,332 of 1,426
Distance traveled: 8,714 of 9,270 feet
March progress to date: 404 feet
February progress: 930 feet

It would be easy for the Trinity River Vision Boondogglers to update their bridge construction progress...

As of March 20, 2017: ZERO PROGRESS

Below is a WSDOT video tour showing multiple aspects of Bertha and the tunnel she is boring. This video is unique in that it provides a 360 degree look as you watch the video and maneuver the view via the controls at the upper left.

Now, after all this time, wouldn't you think the Trinity River Vision Boondogglers could come up with some sort of video documentation showing all the progress made in this vitally needed flood control and economic development scheme which has been dawdling along for most of this century?

You can take a Stormy Look At Zero Panther Island Bridge Motion Progress before you take the video tour of Bertha below...

Goodbye Winter Hello Spring Looking For Tulips

Scrren cap from Skagit Breaking News via Facebook
No, that is not what is known as a Luenserized look at a North Texas, or Fort Worth, scene you are looking at here.

The mountain foothills in the distance is one clue this is not a North Texas scene.

That and the huge field of daffodils.

This harbinger of spring flowerly view is from my old home zone of the Skagit Valley, with those daffodils blooming in a field in what is known as the Skagit Flats.

The Skagit Flats is one of the world's most fertile agricultural areas.

Only the Netherlands produces more tulips and tulip bulbs than what grow annually on the Skagit  Flats.

A harsher winter than is the norm, with more rain than is the norm, has slowed up the blooming of the flowers this year on the Skagit Flats.

The annual month long Skagit Valley Tulip Festival brings over a million Tulip Tourists to the Skagit Valley.

I have blogged about the Skagit Tulip Festival a time or two, such as Tiptoeing Through The Skagit Valley Tulips, and way back in 2010, The 27th Annual Skagit Valley Tulip Festival.

I lived in West Mount Vernon way back in the last century during the early years of the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. At that point in time I did not like the traffic jams which brought a sort of gridlock to much of the Skagit Flats.

Over the years much of the traffic jam problems have been improved, spreading Tulip Tourists out to more locations, with destinations like Tulip Town, and events in the valley's various towns. And better signage directing incoming tourists to the various freeway exits available.

North Texas gets colorful this time of year too. Not so much via planted fields of flowers, but via Mother Nature in the form of wildflowers.

Spring is the most colorful time of the year to visit Texas...