On of the favorite local early-spring pastimes in the D.C. area is the “cherry blossom watch.” This involves observing the progress of the Yoshino cherry trees surrounding the Tidal Basin as they approach “peak bloom.” Peak bloom is traditionally defined as the day when 70 percent of the blossoms are open on the famous trees. But because approximately half the blossoms on the trees were killed when unseasonably cold weather returned just as they were about to reach peak bloom, that didn’t happen. Instead, this year definition had to be slightly altered. Officials defined peak bloom for 2017 as the day 70 percent of the remaining blossoms were open. And that occurred a few days ago.
As expected, the bloom this year was a little more subdued than usual simply because of the diminished number of buds that survived the weather. However, the trees put on a beautiful show nonetheless. Over the past few days since the peak bloom the blossoms have gradually been going from white to their iconic pale pink. But the blossoms are also becoming quite fragile. And with a prediction of one hundred percent chance of rain tomorrow, the rain will most likely knock the remaining petals off and blanketing the ground with so many petals it looks like blossom snow.
If it’s possible for you to get down here to the Tidal Basin by the end of the day today, you will still be able to see the last part of this year ‘s blooming cycle. Otherwise, I hope you will enjoy the following photos that I took this year. You can also see my blog posts with photos of the cherry blossoms from previous years.