After three days of picture-perfect weather that coincided with the cherry blossoms in their prime, the rain is back. With yesterday's wind and today's rain, there's a blanket of cherry blossom "snow" on the ground as the petals a steadily coming off.
As of this morning, the trees are looking beautiful, but they're well on the path out now as the millions (or billions?) of petals fall off the trees, to be replaced by green leaves over the coming days. Spend any time standing under the trees and you'll get petals all over you. The falling of the petals will accelerate today as the rain gets heavier and knocks more and more petals off. How much will be left to see tomorrow is anyone's guess, but they'll mostly be long gone by the weekend.
If you go down today, it's one for the full wet weather gear. As of this morning, the traffic restrictions on Ohio Drive are still in effect, but the need for them has mostly gone. Yesterday was jam-packed, but it was very quiet down there this morning with only a half dozen or so cars. Most of the people around the Tidal Basin were joggers.
These photos taken early this morning give you a sense of what you can expect to see if you go today. As the day goes on--along with the rain--more and more petals will come off the trees.
Kwanzan Cherry Blossoms
The Kwanzan cherry blossoms, which are nearby in East Potomac Park, still have a way to go before flowering properly. Typically they bloom about 12 days after the Yoshinos around the Tidal Basin. Based on that, we can expect them to reach peak sometime around April 22. Here's how they were looking this morning, and I have information on how to find them here.
Want to Help Support DC's Cherry Trees?
If you'd like to help support the care and upkeep of the cherry trees around the Tidal Basin, the Trust for The National Mall has launched an Endow a Cherry Tree Campaign. Donations go to the official Cherry Tree Endowment, which will give the National Park Service additional resources to fund the care, maintenance, and possible replacement of the cherry trees. You can find more information here.
The Trust is dedicated to marshaling private support for maintaining and improving the history National Mall area. I'm not affiliated with the Trust--just an admirer of their efforts.