DC Cherry Blossoms in 2021
It seems increasingly likely that DC will still be under COVID-19 restrictions in spring 2021 while the cherry blossoms are blooming. So it's shaping up to be a good year to follow along from afar from the safety and comfort of your home.
UPDATE: The NPS announced their peak bloom prediction to be March 27-30.
It’s a clear and quite mild morning at the Tidal Basin. After some cooler temperatures last week, we’re back into warmer weather. The indicator tree is just starting to flower, and the saucer magnolias are starting to come out.
There were a few developments yesterday. The Washington Post‘s Capital Weather Gang posted their initial peak bloom prediction for the 2020 season. They said that they expect DC’s cherry blossoms to reach peak bloom sometime between March 25 and 29.
Also yesterday, the National Park Service determined that the cherry trees had reached the Florets Visible stage, the second of the six stages they track into the bloom.
And a new player in the peak bloom prediction game, Storm Team4 of the local NBC station, have predicted that peak bloom will fall sometime between March 18 and March 23.
The National Park Service will be revealing their prediction later this morning–stay tuned!
This Morning at the Tidal Basin
Here are some shots to give a sense of how it’s looking this morning down at the Tidal Basin.
This is a tree I typically track through the blooming process, trying to focus in on the same specific small section to be able to see the day-by-day progress.
This is a different variety and is separate from the indicator tree (on the opposite side of the Tidal Basin), but it reliably marches ahead of the other trees by several days.
You can see that even a few days can make quite a difference.
The indicator tree is one on the south-eastern side of the Tidal Basin that is reliably a week or two ahead of the others. I have more information on it, including how to find it, here.
It’s just starting to flower. For now, it’s only a very small number of blossoms, but more will come out in coming days.
The saucer magnolias are starting to come out but aren’t in full bloom yet.
I took these photos early this morning at the Enid A. Haupt Garden.
The Jefferson Memorial is undergoing a major renovation project to clean the dome and replace parts of the roof. So the exterior is covered in scaffolding (you can still access the interior, which is mostly scaffolding free).
There’s no particular news here—it’s been going on for some time—but from time to time I’ll include some shots of it mainly so that any photographers planning some sunrise shots know what to expect and don’t get a disappointing surprise when they turn up to find scaffolding.
Things Happening Nearby
Elsewhere Around and Near the Tidal Basin:
- The traffic patterns around West Potomac Park are normal. And the parking lot near the paddle boats is open.
- The Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool is drained for repairs. It’s likely to be drained through mid-March.
- The Jefferson Memorial is covered in scaffolding to clean the domed roof. The project isn’t expected to be finished before May.
- The water features of the FDR Memorial are still drained and turned off. They turn them back on once the risk of freezing has receded.
- The Washington Monument is open and back in business and scaffolding-free.
In related news, apparently Japan’s cherry blossom festivals have been cancelled due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
At this time of year, there are beautiful flowers to be had all over the place. Maybe in your backyard. Maybe in the local park.
These are ere are some of my favorite books that I've reviewed on taking photos of flowers:
- Timber Press OR
- Detrick, Alan L. (Author)