Full Bloom

In the Tidal Basin area of Washington DC you will find approximately 3,750 cherry trees. In 1912, the people of Japan sent over 3,000 cherry trees to the United States as a gift of friendship. In Japan, the flowering cherry or Sakura, is held in very high esteem. It is viewed as both a symbol of the impermanency of human life, and the transformation of the Japanese culture through the ages.

Sakura in full bloom at the Tidal Basin.
Sakura in full bloom at the Tidal Basin.

A cherry blossom festival is held every year, usually timed to coincide with what is known as the peak bloom. It’s officially peak bloom when about 70% of the blossoms are open and the bloom usually lasts for several days. It’s a very hard thing to predict but peak bloom usually happens between the last week of March and the first week of April.

Joining hundreds of others in the predawn darkness to take a look at the bloom.
Joining hundreds of others in the predawn darkness to take a look at the bloom.

Naturally it’s all very weather dependent. Cool, calm weather can extend the length of the bloom whilst rain and wind can bring an abrupt halt to what is an incredibly beautiful sight. You might remember last year on our way to spend Easter in St. Michaels, we stopped in at the Tidal Basin in the hope of seeing the bloom but we were too early. Easter last year was late March and the bloom didn’t unfold until April 9th.

Blooms as far as the eye could see.
Blooms as far as the eye could see.

This year Thursday April 10th was predicted to be peak bloom kick off. Richard was inspired by some pictures of this year’s bloom taken at daybreak that he spied in the Washington Post on Thursday morning. He suggested we get up super early on Saturday morning so we could catch a glimpse of the blossoms as the sun came up. And so we did, joining hundreds of other people who’d had the same idea.

Taking in the view from the Thomas Jefferson memorial.
Taking in the view from the Thomas Jefferson memorial.
Early morning light on the Washington Monument.
Early morning light on the Washington Monument.

It was beautiful – well worth the 4:30am start! And it also made for the perfect excuse to visit our favorite (so far) DC cafe for coffee afterwards.

Bloomin' marvellous!
Bloomin’ marvellous!
Nice to be doing the touristy thing again :)
Nice to be doing the touristy thing again šŸ™‚

This week sees us doing a whole lot more of “the touristy thing”. We decided we haven’t been taking enough advantage of the travel opportunities available to us here, so in an effort to remedy that we are going to be spending Easter in…Puerto Rico!! (I get excited just typing those two words.)

No doubt I will have lots to say about that trip and oodles of photos to bore you all with, so stay tuned šŸ™‚

And just when you thought you'd seen enough...here's some more blossoms!
And just when you thought you’d seen enough…here’s some more blossoms!

 

5 Replies to “Full Bloom”

    1. Oh! I skipped the part about Puerto Rico!!! I was so focused on the photos… LOL. I hope you have a FAN-TAS-TIC time in my country “La Isla del Encanto” šŸ˜‰

  1. Wow these are beautiful blossoms but wait till you gals all break out the bikinis in Puerto Rico! Have a fabulous time you all!. How fabulous! Much love Jen xxxxx

  2. Looks gorgeous! Happy birthday to Olive…we have sent pressie but a bit late. Enjoy Puerto Rico…makes me think of the love boat šŸ™‚

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