Rudy Owens photographs

Oh, those succulent, sensuous tulip petals

Tulips are, by all definitions, the baba-boom of flowers many gardeners plant here in the United States, and in Canada and Europe too. We have fields of them now exploding in the Skagit Valley. In my part of Seattle, I see dozens in full, glorious bloom. Their colors can almost drive a person wild. I love how the colors mix and accentuate each other in some petals. Me, I just do vegetables. I prefer to eat what I plant. I let others plant what I feast with my eyes.

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How Seattle looks to my morning eyes

A massive tunnel-boring project in Seattle, that is pegged to cost more than $3 billion, is now on hold. Th several-stories-tall tunnel boring machine, dubbed Bertha, is now broken and stuck beneath the viaduct I drive over every day (Highway 99), and theoretically the future tunnel will replace the aging structure that takes me and tens of thousands of other drivers daily. North of the port, crews are digging up things by the Gates Foundation headquarters, making this a landscape of cranes, heavy moving equipment, and grand ambitions that tower like the Space Needle close by. Looking at the cranes in these pictures, I imagine I am seeing the giant snow walking machines seen in The Empire Strikes Back. My favorite landmark, however, remains the massive Ash Cement Factory. Time has not seemed to change this place. It just seems to get more grey.

Community gardening in Seattle

In 2003 I worked on a documentary photography project on Community Supported Agriculture in Seattle. This work culminated in a show I exhibited in Portland, Ore., which highlighted gardens and gardening at two different mixed-income communities. These gardeners were all public housing residents, including immigrant families. I also showed these two photos in a show I did in Anchorage in 2006 at the Snow City Cafe called Being Themselves.