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.
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.
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.