Rain today, after a nice spring weekend. The rain is keeping the tour buses away this morning, so it’s very peaceful around the Tidal Basin. It’s a quiet, but damp, morning for the NPS rangers on site.
More of the trees are out now, although they’re still in a minority. It’s still several days away from full bloom, but if you brave the rain and head down today you’ll be able to easily find some clusters of trees in bloom. It’ll keep getting better every day for the next week or so.
The National Park Service has decided that as of today (April 7) 70 percent of the blossoms have reached the “puffy white” stage. And while some trees are white with fully open blossoms, others are still lagging behind. Typically the peak bloom date, when 70 percent of the blossoms are judged to be open, comes about 4-6 days after the puffy white date.
From a distance, the trees are mostly pink from closed (or partly closed) flower buds, with a few patches of white from the open blossoms. As the blossoms start to open, the white petals puff out and then open fully. The petals start out bright white and gradually turn pink over several days, before dropping off and being replaced by green leaves. You can see the different stages of the blossoms opening in the photos below. All of these were taken this morning, which is a good illustration of how the pace of the bloom varies from tree to tree.
If you’re only able to get there on a weekend, this coming weekend (April 12-13) is likely to be prime viewing. Expect crowds.