Tourist season is here: you can feel it on the sidewalk, on the Mall, around the Tidal Basin, and especially on the left sides of downtown Metro escalators. Washington Post reports that DC tourism is up, but that hasn’t necessarily translated to increased revenue for local retail and hospitality businesses. DC, after all, is Freebie Tourism Central: free monuments, museums, parks, even the zoo. Proximity day-trippers account for a large part of the influx of travelers: people driving in from nearby, not staying at hotels overnight, or opting to crash in local relatives’ guest rooms.
Macro Blossoms II/Washington DC, courtesy of base10
Did you get out to see the blossoms, like seemingly everyone else around here and along the East Coast? A gorgeous weekend – even with high wind bursts on Saturday – couldn’t damper the Cherry Blossom Festival and many blooms remained attached to their branches. Which meant they were still in place for area and tourist photographers to capture.
If you’re still hankering for more, check out the WeLoveDC flickr pool, as many of our “regular” contributors’ photos can be seen there. Just watch out – you might get so engrossed you may lose track of time like I did…
‘Hold onto your hats!’
courtesy of ‘lorigoldberg’
We’re getting much-needed rain today. The U.S. Drought Monitor shows our region as being in moderate drought conditions, so this rainfall is good news. It’s not a one-shot fix, though – Capitol Weather pointed out at the end of last month that we were a full five inches below normal, something you can’t correct in one hit. While it would be nice to get more dry days to enjoy the warming weather, we really need to be hoping for some more consistent rainfall over the next few months.
The downside to today’s catch-up is that you might be done with blossom-peeping whether or not you’ve gone out to do it. National Weather Service says we’re looking at a wind around 15mpg and gusts that could go up to 28mph. Tonight’s just going to get windier, to the point where there might be a wind advisory. As I recall, last year it was some windy spring weather that took us from beautiful to bare trees in no time at all.
So batten down your hatches, such as they are, and if you didn’t get to the basin, well, you can enjoy Ben’s shots,the great shots in the We Love DC pool or some of the over 300,000 pictures in Flickr marked with “Cherry Blossoms.”
Cherry Blossoms in DC, courtesy of Somewhat Frank
It’s here, our ‘official’ herald of spring in the DC area – the Cherry Blossom Festival! Despite a narrow window of peak flowers this year, thousands of photos will be snapped by throngs of tourists in and around the DC area. And finally, the weather is beginning to cooperate, with a nice and somewhat warm weekend behind us (despite the rain).
Katie and Jasmine have much of this past weekend’s festival covered with kites and opening ceremonies; Flashback steps back and takes in the great photogenic city we live and work in every day, as captured by you. Enjoy.
courtesy of ‘maxedaperture’
Another benefit of the cherry blossom season, aside from the gorgeous trees themselves, is the opportunity to take advantage of some good eats. Local restaurants play off the theme, creating delicious pink or cherry based food. For a sampling of the inspired dishes, click on through. Continue reading
They make a big deal about the cherry blossoms and spring here in DC, courtesy of quinnums
In case you had no doubt, spring is finally here in DC. Hope you all were able to get out and enjoy the beautiful weather and the end of winter’s grasp. From the photos I saw in Flickr, there was a lot of hustle and bustle in the area, sampling everything from concerts to the circus to museums to the opening buds of the cherry blossoms.
Fair warning: we’ll be having a lot of cherry blossom photos over the next few weeks, since it is arguably one of the best times to photograph DC. And it never gets old.
Meantimes, enjoy the sampling of shots from our area photogs from this past weekend! Continue reading
So a couple weeks ago, the National Park Service announced when the peak blooming period would be for the cherry blossoms this year.
Apparently, they were wrong.
This morning, Rob DeFeo, the Chief Horticulturist of the NPS, announced a ‘revised’ bloom period: April 1-4 . (Yep, shorter than previously predicted.)
We can’t blame DeFeo for revising his forecast; for years, he gave the prediction only a few days from the annual festival. These days, he’s been pressed to give it closer to three weeks out. And it’s been four years since Eleanor Moffatt passed away; her advice was always welcome around the NPS when it came to predicting the beautiful blossoms’ bloom time. DeFeo’s only been wrong a few times in his 19 year career as the Chief Horticulturist.
So DC, get ready. The tourists, they are a-comin’…
They’re coming! According to the just-held National Cherry Blossom Festival press conference this morning, the expected ‘bloom date’ is going to be…
April 3 through April 9! Keep in mind this is when 70 percent of the blossoms of the Yoshino Cherry trees that surround the Tidal Basin are open.
Admit it, you all have been waiting for this. (Just like me.) And don’t forget that the actual Festival this year runs from March 28 through April 12, so remember to take lots of photos and drop them into our Flickr pool!