Old School Film Hack

Cue the Music… Here Come the Cherry Blossoms!


Blooms on the indicator tree
Tidal Basin, Washington, DC (March 2017)
Sony a6300 + Zeiss Biogon 21/4.5 ZM

I’ve heard since at least last week that the cherry blossoms in DC are on a tear and are already popping.  Uh… sorta yes and a lotta no.

The cherry blossom indicator tree has already popped and maybe one or two more (I shot the image above this morning), but the rest of the trees around the Tidal Basin are far behind it.  When will the rest of them explode into bloom?  Based upon what I saw — I’m guessing at least another week, maybe as much as two.  Truly, pretty much all of the rest of the trees around the Tidal Basin haven’t even begun to open yet; the buds are in a wide stage of development — some are real close to opening, but others are still very much nascent.  We’ve had some recent cold nights — including a light dusting of snow a couple of days ago — that have put the brakes on the blooms.

One eager touron came up beside me as I was taking my shots, and was severely crestfallen when he saw just the one tree in bloom, thinking that he was too late and that he had missed the rest of them.  I told him he was merely too early and that the indicator tree had jumped the gun this year, which really brightened him up.

On a sadder note, the magnolia blooms at the George Mason Memorial right behind the Jefferson Memorial were killed by the recent cold snap, as you can see below.

Frost damage to the magnolia blooms
George Mason Memorial, Washington, DC (March 2017)
Sony a6300 + Zeiss Biogon 21/4.5 ZM

There are plenty of other blooms that can be seen nearer to protection around buildings and such.  The best way to find them is to simply stretch your legs and go for a long wonderful walk.

54 thoughts on “Cue the Music… Here Come the Cherry Blossoms!

  1. mvobsession

    Will they still be on time or early this year ? I think the ones here in NJ in Branch Brook Park in Newark will definitely be ahead of the festival time 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mitch Zeissler Post author

      Early. Not quite record-breaking early, but almost. The festival was scheduled early for this year, and then they also moved it forward for the first time.


  2. Lekha murali

    What a weather! February felt like April, March feels like late November. The plants are confused, the birds are confused. Red robbins turned red in January and are still red.
    I look at the sky see birds migrating. I have a feeling for two days they are flying south and then weather gets warm and then they turn north, ultimately going in circles.


    1. Sarah Longes - Mirador Design

      There’s been all sorts of chaos in the UK over vegetables and salad produce we usually import from Spain that got wrecked by rain. Tesco supermarket actually put restrictions on the number of lettuces each customer could buy and our Waitrose completely ran out of courgettes and spinach. Really felt for the growers in Spain losing entire crops to unseasonal weather but the panic portrayed by the media was a bit OTT!


    2. Mitch Zeissler Post author

      ??? Courgettes? I’ve never heard zucchini referred to by that name before. I learn something new everyday! Nor had I known of the media storm over there about the lose of the Spanish crops.

      It’s too early here to know if our crops will suffer a similar fate. Most people don’t think of such things around us; they love the warm weather in the winter and the media is filled with weather reports about “another great day that we’re having” and the like. We NEED the rain. We NEED the cold weather. There are bad things that happen if we don’t get both of those regularly, but we never hear the weather people say that. Grrrrr!

      Liked by 1 person

    3. Sarah Longes - Mirador Design

      I forget that you guys lost the correct words for things 😉 I understand how courgettes became known as zucchini as the Italian link is there but every time I hear an aubergine called an eggplant I can’t help but laugh! Seasons have been a bit all over the shop in recent years so although rain is much needed it keeps coming at the wrong time. My brother in NY has just had the big snow storm which is crossing the pond and dumping cold rain on us in the next few days as I understand it! Today was glorious 🙂 Sunny and the high teens. I went bird and butterfly watching among the giant magnolia trees at Wisley 😀 Tomorrow will be about 11° and grey in London. Might be good for some moody monos after my hospital appt 🙂


    4. Mitch Zeissler Post author

      Funny — I only know aubergine as a purple color. 😀

      Still quite cold here; the new snow hasn’t yet melted and the cherry blossoms are still covered with ice. They can now see physical damage to many of the buds and petals… 😦

      We drove by our local peach orchard last night and all the blooms have withered up and turned brown.

      Liked by 1 person

    5. Sarah Longes - Mirador Design

      The colour is named after the vegetable, as that’s it colour lol 😉 I happen to be eating some tonight! Oh I hate to think of the blossom being damaged by the ice 😦 It’s never good news for the fruits later on that are vital to the birds! That’s tragic for the peach growers. One of my favourite fruits that I always look forward to eating fresh from the trees in Greece 🙂


    6. Sarah Longes - Mirador Design

      Almost impossible to get a good flavoured, ripe peach in the UK!! They always ship them in really unripe for the supermarket shelves 😦 I like to get them straight from the tree, ripe and juicy 😀 Makes a lovely juice drink too!


    7. Mitch Zeissler Post author

      That’s how we get them… fresh from the tree. 🙂

      We have a wonderful grower nearby that sells 31 different varieties of yellow peaches and an even larger number of white peaches, all staggered so that we have ripe fruit beginning in early July and finishing up near the end of September. I don’t know how many bushels we go through during a growing season, but I just love ’em! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    8. Sarah Longes - Mirador Design

      I’m so jealous I could cry!!! Hoping to get some strawberries going this year if I can keep the slugs at bay. I’m rather restricted on fruits as I can’t eat apples at all, kinda the main fruit crop of the UK, and have to avoid pips and skins too. I can cope with strawberry seeds though so at least that’s something good 🙂


    9. Sarah Longes - Mirador Design

      It’s worst when I’m handing over bits of succulent fruit to the grandchildren and not being able to share!! Or looking really stupid at easter time because I have to pull my hot cross buns apart to get rid of the raisins. I think people generally just assume that I’m a picky eater!


    10. Sarah Longes - Mirador Design

      It was a bit brighter in London than I had expected but the hospital visit was less bright. Sometimes it just goes that way! Anyway, I got a taxi over to a beautiful little city garden in the ruins of an old church on the other side of the Thames and it was so lovely and peaceful there 🙂 Good for the soul!!


    11. Sarah Longes - Mirador Design

      I remembered that you had been having your own health battles! I always do something positive either before or after an appointment 🙂 Loving the little city gardens in London’s Square Mile!! Finding so much wildlife 😀 Best medicine out there 😉


  3. sustainabilitea

    We have nothing this far along yet, but the daffodils and day lilies are well up, even though they have no flowers. Hopefully the well below freezing night coming up later this week won’t do them int.



    1. Mitch Zeissler Post author

      The daffodils are nearing the end of their run here (the early blooms are already gone), but the day lilies have yet to show themselves. DC is about 10 degrees warmer than we are, so they usually have a lot more color than we do at the same date in the spring.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Mitch Zeissler Post author

      Yes, indeed… the weather is very much out of the norm for this time of year. Thanks — I really like the first photo as well! I used a different lens with my tried-and-true handheld macro technique, and felt the results were worth using it more.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Mitch Zeissler Post author

      We’re waiting to see if the snow shows up in just a few hours, or whether it will be rain instead. It’s currently 41°F, so whatever comes down isn’t going to stay cold for long.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Mitch Zeissler Post author

      Thanks, Julie — it may be the only one I get of the cherry blossoms this year. We got hit with a major winter storm last night and the blossoms were completely covered in ice this morning.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Mixed Emotions | Exploratorius

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