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Cherry Blossoms!

30 Mar

It’s spring in DC and that means basically one thing – Cherry blossoms.  Along with that is unpredictable weather and rain.  So, with the rest of the week looking a little murky and yesterday being one of the predicted peak bloom days, I decided to wake up and ride my bike to the Tidal Basin for sunrise.  Fantastic idea had I been prepared, but alas I decided to act like an ass and not wear the appropriate gear to keep me warm.  Instead, I froze for almost two hours while I rode around to various spots to try to catch the blossoms at their finest.  Hopefully my stupidity will have its rewards and you’ll enjoy the photos!

Jefferson Memorial, © 2011 Heather Freitag

The blossoms were a gift from Japan in 1912, which is now commemorated every year by a festival.  This year’s Cherry Blossom Festival started on March 26th and runs until April 10th.  Besides the beautiful trees blossoming, there are many other activities that are part of the festival, most of which celebrate and showcase the culture of Japan.  Throughout the festival there are parades, street festivals, kite flying festivals, sushi tastings, cherry-inspired food tastings, fireworks, even a cherry blossom run.  Plus this year’s festival is also benefiting Japan aid efforts.

Why all the hub-bub about a tree?  First, cherry blossom trees are incredibly beautiful and for their short bloom period, the entire tree is lit up in perfect pink/white blossoms.

Cherry Blossom Trees, © 2011 Heather Freitag

© 2011 Heather Freitag

© 2011 Heather Freitag

© 2011 Heather Freitag

Magnifying the beauty of the cherry blossoms is that it’s not just one tree, but thousands.  The initial gift of 2,000 trees was infested with disease by the time they arrived.  However, the Japanese responded by sending a total of 3,020 more trees to DC.  With so many trees, they don’t just ring the Tidal Basin.  There are some surrounding the Washington Monument…

© 2011 Heather Freitag

And more around the Capitol building…

© 2011 Heather Freitag

And can also be scattered throughout DC really.  The only downside is allergies!  If you come during cherry blossom time, pack some Claritin, Nasonex, Benadryl or whatever it is you use.  I have never had any outdoor allergies until I moved to DC.  I always suspected the cherry blossoms, but after today’s extended meeting with many blossoms, I’m pretty sure of it.  Puffy, itchy eyes and scratchy, closing throat can be added to the numbness I felt for the first 4 hours of my day.  I literally sat in my cubicle with a throw blanket on and sipped on my coffee, hoping to restore warmth and feeling to my extremities.  Still, I would do it all again for a chance to meet these truly beautiful and historic blossoms.  I’ll end this post with a thank you to my trusty steed…

That's my bike, Pierre, in the corner

and one last parting shot…

© 2011 Heather Freitag

The plane was seriously there – no photo shop.

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8 Comments

Posted by on March 30, 2011 in Travel

 

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8 responses to “Cherry Blossoms!

  1. Sheridan

    March 30, 2011 at 9:43 am

    Beautiful pics 🙂

     
  2. Mara D

    March 30, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    you’ve inspired me to enjoy the festival this year. Great pictures too!

     
    • heatherfreitag

      March 30, 2011 at 2:33 pm

      Hope you like the festival and glad you liked the pictures!

       
  3. Loren Freitag

    March 31, 2011 at 10:21 am

    Your mother wants to fly out to see the festival, lots of ohhing and awwing at the post. Well written and nice pictures. We would also see you and Ryan if we came.

     
    • heatherfreitag

      March 31, 2011 at 10:26 am

      Hahahhaa. I can hear her now…Well, they are pretty much done for this year. Maybe next year you guys can come out for them.

       
  4. sarah

    April 1, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    love, love the pictures – great story too

     
    • heatherfreitag

      April 1, 2011 at 3:07 pm

      Thanks! Glad you enjoyed the photos! Let me know if you want any copies

       

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