Drown Yourself in Tulips

Today’s Post by Mildred Alpern

If you could drown yourself in tulips,

What a swim that would be

Cavorting with silken sheen petals

Floating in a variegated sea

Rising and falling with the breezy tide

Of flowers in serried array

Plumbing the depths of their secret hearts

Coiled in their soft shell display


The West Side Community Garden on the Upper West Side of Manhattan hosts a flamboyant tulip display in May. Every conceivable color and shape blooms in the neighborhood flower park. From varied perspectives, the tulips offer distinctive beauty. Silken petals on slender stalks sway in spring breezes. “Secret hearts” reveal kaleidoscopic color patterns, and unopened tulips have a pristine primness in their closed wrappings.


I wanted to capture several ways that they may be viewed. Using two mirrorless cameras and different lenses, I sought to capture the variety. The closed tulip (below) was photographed with the Fuji X-T1 and a 35mm lens with an exposure of 1/850 sec at f/2 and ISO 200; the swaying tulips (top) with the Olympus E-M5 and 45mm lens and an exposure of 1/60 sec at f/5 and ISO 200; and the macro closeup of anthers (just above) with the Olympus E-M5 and 60mm lens with an exposure of 1/250 sec at f/2.8 and ISO 200.