Peak Bloom Reached on March 28
The National Park Service has restricted traffic and parking around the Tidal Basin and added fences around the perimeter. There is pedestrian access for now, but they've said they're prepared to close the area entirely if it gets too crowded.
You can find the most recent photos from the Tidal Basin here.
There are quite a few cherry blossoms out now. The vast majority aren’t quite there yet, but as you walk around the Tidal Basin, it’s easy to find at least some flowers out and the occasional early-blooming whole tree. And the indicator tree is in full bloom.
The National Park Service judged that 70 percent of the cherry buds had reached the “peduncle elongation” stage as of yesterday.
The morning started damp, overcast, and bleak, but as the morning has gone on, the sun’s out and bringing with it strong winds and unseasonably warm temperatures.
The National Park Service has closed the roads around the Tidal Basin and put up fences around the entire perimeter. As of this morning, at least, the area was still open to pedestrian traffic. But they’ve done it in such a way that they just need to close a few choke points in order to close the fence fully. They’ve said that they’re prepared to do that if the crowds get too large. Where that threshold is seems to be a “we’ll know it when we see it” situation. This is what an NPS spokesperson told NBC4:
It is a judgment call, but it is based on the CDC guidance of 6-foot social distancing and the city’s mass-gathering limitations of 50 people. We are going to keep everything open as long as we possibly can, but when we reach that point, we have bike rack [fencing] out [and] Park Police will be on patrol to enforce those closures.
There are other places in the area that are very good for taking in cherry blossoms with much more opportunity for social distancing. The National Arboretum and Meadowlark are good places to start; there are some more ideas here.
It was very quiet earlier this morning. There was even a beaver out for swim, which is the first time I’ve actually seen one here–I’ve only ever seen their gnawed trunks before (I couldn’t get a decent shot of it, unfortunately, without it coming out looking like a Loch Ness monster photo).
Here are some photos taken early this morning (before the sun came out).
The saucer magnolias are out now and looking wonderful. Here are some photos I took this morning at the Enid A. Haupt Garden behind the Smithsonian Castle.