Monday, April 4, 2016

C is for Cherry Blossoms

One of my long time Bucket List items is to see the cherry blossoms in bloom in my nation's capital, Washington, D.C.




The flowering cherry trees were a gift from the People of Japan to the People of the United States in 1912.  Over three thousand trees were given as a way of honoring the growing bond between the two countries.  


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In Japanese culture, the picturesque pink and white blossoms symbolize the beauty and fragility of life.  The iconic blossoms have come to symbolize spring and renewal in the United States, as many look forward to the explosion of color after a long, bleak winter.  The annual bloom draws hundreds of thousands to the capital city to revel in the short lived beauty of the blossoms.

Via
The blossoms are in bloom for a maximum of two weeks, with their peak (when 70% of the blossoms are open) only lasting for a few days.  The exact timing of the bloom varies from year to year and is unpredictable.  Weather temperatures play a huge factor as to when the bloom will occur.

In 2012, after an abnormally mild winter and a warm March, the peak bloom occurred shortly after St. Patrick's Day.  That year, the 100th anniversary of the planting of the trees in Washington D.C, my parents and I had planned to visit Washington D.C. to see the blossoms.  However, we had planned to go during my Spring Break, which, unfortunately, was about two weeks later. Knowing that we'd miss the short lived blossoms, we scrapped our plans and decided to wait until the following year.  

In 2013, the blossom peak was predicted to occur March 26 - 30 and we made plans to visit March 31 - April 4 (again over my Spring Break).  That year, the blossom peak didn't occur until April 9, about one week after we left.  Although we could definitely see the red hues from the emerging buds, the only blossoms we saw were these: 






Due to the unpredictability of when the blossoms bloom from year to year and the fact that I can only visit the D.C. area over my spring break, I think I may just have to try to see the blooms again once I retire and have more freedom as to when I can go. 

Have you seen the cherry blossoms in D.C. or in Japan or maybe some other region?  What was your experience like?  Thanks for stopping by!


This is the third of twenty-six alphabetized blog entries that I am publishing this month as a part of the 2016 Blogging A to Z Challenge.  Many bloggers who participate in this challenge, select a theme.  My theme is - "Whatever I Think Of."  

For more information on the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge, click here.


18 comments:

  1. I have seen those beautiful trees. I grew up in Baltimore and almost every year until high school, our class would take a trip to D.C to the Smithsonian in the Spring. Those trees are gorgeous but I haven't been to D.C in 13 years, since I moved to Massachusetts. Popping over from #mg

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    1. Oh, I am envious! One day, I'll time it right. Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. I do hope you get to see them! To be so close and yet so far away from actually seeing them had to be a bit heart breaking. My sister lives in the DC area; I'm sure she and her family have seen them a multitude of times :) My mom spoke fondly of going to see them when she was a young adult; she said it was breath taking.

    betty

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  3. wow, i had no idea they were a gift from japan. they are very pretty, though i don't think i'll ever see them in person. i hope you do though!

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    1. Thank you! One day I'll get the timing right! Thanks for stopping by!

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  4. My family and I were lucky enough to visit DC at just the right time one spring and were able to see the beautiful blossoms. There was also a kite festival going on and together, they made for quite a breathtaking scene. It is one of my favorite places to visit no matter what time of year. I hope you are able to see the trees bloom someday.

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    1. Thank you! I trust I'll get the timing right one day... It will probably have to wait until I retire and have more freedom as to when I can go. I bet the kites with the blossoms in the background was a fabulous sight to behold! Thanks for stopping by!

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  5. Your quest to see the cherry blossoms sounds like my, albeit smaller, quest to take my kids to the top of the Bunker Hill Monument in Boston (well Charlestown really). The first time was when we walked the Freedom Trail and we got to Bunker Hill after the monument was closed, then we came back a few months later and went straight to the monument but even though it was September it was over 90 degrees at the top of the monument and I guess they won't let people climb it in hot conditions - so we were out of luck again. This summer for sure! I'm sure you'll make it some year - probably on some accidental trip when you aren't really meaning to be there for cherry blossom week...

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    1. It's frustrating, isn't it? And, I like how you phrased it, it has become my quest! Good luck on your quest! Have a good one and thanks for stopping by!

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  6. I love your blog name!

    I'm sorry you haven't had your chance yet but love the perseverence. Makes it feel like a pilgrimage.

    I haven't seen it in real life. The closest I have been is watching a BBC documentary series on Japan where they showed the shower of petals. It looked incredible.

    Hope you get your chance soon!

    #mg

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    1. Thank you for the compliment! When it comes to finicky mother nature, perseverance is key! LOL! I am getting ready to categorize it as a quest! Thank you for stopping by! Have a good one!

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  7. The cherry blossoms really are one or the most beautiful things to see in the US! That sucks that you've missed peak bloom everytime you've tried to visit! We visited last year and got very lucky when that we got there during peak bloom.

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    1. You are very fortunate! I may try again one year before I retire, during my spring break, because my husband has never been to DC. I think he should go there and spring is a nice time to visit. Thanks for stopping by1

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  8. This has been a goal of mine for the last few years! Luckily I was able to see them in bloom over a stopover en route to VA on St. Patrick's Day. I'm actually going to the Cherry Blossom Wine and Beer Festival this weekend, but I'm fairly certain that if they're not already gone, these super cold temps will freeze them before I get there!

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    1. Yes, the blossoms may already be gone. I'm not sure when they bloomed this year. Enjoy the festival! It sounds like fun!

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  9. They are breathtaking, I never knew they bloomed there, I knew Japan and have always wanted to go. One day! Gorgeous pics and thank you for sharing lovely #mg

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