Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Elusive Blooms

Recently I've become obsessed with the idea of seeing the Cherry Blossoms in Washington DC*. The Cherry Trees were originally a gift from Japan in 1912. President Taft returned the gesture by sending Flowering Dogwoods to Japan in 1915. They remain a symbol of of friendship to this day.

The trees do not produce any actual fruit, but every spring fill the city with millions of pink flowers. These blossoms have become iconic to DC, and thousands of people show up annually for the National Cherry Blossom Festival.

The average peak bloom time of the trees is mid-April. Knowing it had been a warm winter, I gambled and bought my tickets for March 31st. I had the right idea, but you can never out-plan Mother Nature — it was, in fact, a very warm winter, and the cherry blossoms peaked even a few days prior to my arrival, around March 26th.

It was clear they were past their peak, but it was still a site to see. It had rained the morning before I arrived, giving everything a light, mysterious hue.

There was evidence everywhere of all the flowers that had been. Little petal-less stems with tufts of pink. The wonderful natural sight only enhanced the magnificent man-made sites.
It had been nearly 20 years since I'd been to DC, and I took the opportunity to visit every site I could. DC is a fanatically, clean, walkable city. And when you can't walk, there are these marvelous trains that can take you basically anywhere. Oh the wonders of mass public transit and a transportation infrastructure.
And yes, the sun did come out, giving me a weekend full of warm, sunny and very blue skies. 

*Perhaps because of a certain stamp?

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