Since Holland, Michigan was settled by the Dutch, it has an annual Tulip Fest in May. It's an extremely big festival for such a small town, but when we first moved to Michigan we would venture out into the crowd of half a million and ooh and aah over the fields of tulips. Well, we discovered last year an Iris farm between Traverse City and Empire, Michigan. It's a centennial farm and has been in the same family. I've searched for a web site to which to send you, but alas while there are hundreds of hits in Google, the farm itself does not appear to have a web site. So I hope the photos will make up for it. While the colors are breath taking, I was most touched by the accidental meeting of the patriarch of the family.
As always I had to rest my back after traipsing among the blooms; so I sat myself down in a chair at a table with two elderly gentlemen. Well one was, the second one was just a wee bit obnoxious once he figured out I was born in Germany. He kept trying out his "Minnesota German" of which I could not make out even one word. So I did what I do best. I smiled. Thankfully he left and the patriarch of the Iris Family Farm and I got into a conversation. He was sent to Germany as a young man toward the end of WWII. I couldn't help but thank him for his service and told him how a bunch of American soldiers kept me from starving in 1946/1947. He started getting tears into his eyes and was mourning the carnage he lived through. We shed a few tears together, laughed a little, and shared some war stories. I think when we parted we both felt a little better.
And now some photos of my favorites: