Temperatures warm enough to shed winter jackets, the Washington Nationals playing in Space Coast Stadium in Viera, Florida, and setting the clocks ahead like we did this past weekend are all signs that springtime in our nation’s capital is on the horizon. Another sure sign of spring’s imminent arrival is when the dark spindly trees lining The Tidal Basin begin sprouting their green buds, hinting of the florets that will soon become the world-famous pale pink or white cherry blossoms that annually attract so many visitors to the city during the first weeks of spring.
I look forward to the coming days when I will be fortunate enough to be able to watch the blooming process unfold. It is expected that the blooms will peak this year between this Friday (March 18th) and next Wednesday (March 23rd), which because of recent unseasonably warm weather is earlier than initially thought. So although the National Cherry Blossom Festival doesn’t begin until a week from today (March 20th) and runs through April 18th, this coming weekend will be the ideal time to experience this year’s phenomenon.
So whether you for opt for an outing to the Tidal Basin and National Mall area, the tree-lined streets of East Potomac Park and Hains Point, or the diversity and variety of species of cherry trees at the National Arboretum, don’t put it off for very long. Because the visual splendor of these delicate cherry blooms is given to us, unfortunately, for only a brief time, leading many to say that they are symbolic and serve to remind us of the beauty and brevity of life itself.
(Note: Click here or on the above photo to enlarge it and see the photo in such detail that you’ll be able to see both antennae of a small bug peaking over the branch above the buds.)