The main news today is that at a press conference later this morning the experts at the National Park Service will issue their first peak bloom prediction for the 2016 season. I’ll of course provide an update as soon as it’s issued, and as always you can find the latest information on the 2016 peak bloom predictions page.
The Tidal Basin isn’t the most pleasant place to be this morning. Yes, there’s sun, but there’s also a very strong and cold wind blowing. It’s not too bad on the northern side that’s fairly protected, but once you get over to the southern side around the Jefferson Memorial you get blasted. It’s whipping up white caps on the Tidal Basin and sending cold spray over the retaining walls.
It’s a bit of a change from the past several days of warm, spring-like weather. I’ve even come across some scattered daffodils and fruit blossoms starting to bloom (although most of them haven’t yet).
This morning I went around to the south side of the Tidal Basin to get some shots from the indicator tree, which are below. It’s not the easiest tree to get close-up shots of at the best of times because most of its branches are high up, but this morning it was especially tricky with the strong winds blowing the branches around. But as you can see, at this stage there’s not much visual difference between its buds and the ones on the other trees. I’ll take some more photos of it over coming weeks, and we’ll start to see it move through the next development stages ahead of the others.
Here’s how we’re tracking so far for monthly average temperatures. February ended up just a shade over the historical average.
|December||January||February||March||Peak Bloom Date|
ˤ = partial month, in progress
* = up until peak bloom
Photos from This Morning
Here are some photos taken this morning. To see how they compare with this time last year, here are the shots from March 3, 2015.
The Indicator Tree
Here are some shots of the so-called indicator tree, a single tree that is consistently ahead of the others. You can find out more about it here.
Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool
As usual since the upgrades a few years ago, the Reflecting Pool is drained for the winter. They’re doing some construction work repairs on it on the eastern end.
So if you’re looking to take some nice reflection photos with the Lincoln Memorial or Washington Monument, you’re unfortunately out of luck.
So far as I know there’s no fixed–or at least publicly broadcast–date when it will be refilled. I’ll check on it from time to time and include any changes in future updates as necessary.
FDR Memorial Water Features
They’re all still drained.
National World War II Memorial Fountains
They too are still drained.
Spring is Coming
And in case it feels like spring is still a long way off, I took these photos in Arlington yesterday.
Cherry Blossom Visitor Guides
Planning on visiting DC to see the cherry blossoms? The uncertainty with predicting when the bloom will take place certainly makes things hard, but I've put together some information to help you make an educated guess to maximize your chances.
And if you're coming into town for the events of the cherry blossom festival or just for the flowers, I've also put together some ideas on where to stay and how to get to the cherry blossoms once you're here.
Washington DC Visitor Guides
If you're coming in from out of town, here are some useful travel guidebooks that can help you make the most of your visit. Because as stunning as the cherry blossoms are, there's an awful lot more to do and see in DC.
These are some of the most popular ones. Many of these are available as both traditional books and e-books that you can read on your phone or tablet.
- DK Travel
- Publisher: DK Eyewitness Travel
- Fodor s Washington D C with Mount Vernon Alexandria Annapolis Full color Travel Guide
- Fodor's Travel Guides
- Lonely Planet Washington DC
- Lonely Planet, Karla Zimmerman, Regis St Louis
- Elise Hartman Ford
- Publisher: FrommerMedia
- DK Travel
- Publisher: DK Eyewitness Travel
And here are some interesting options for less traditional guidesbooks if you'd like an emphasis on exploring DC on foot or diving into some of the region's very rich history.
- NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC
- Barbara Noe Kennedy
- A History Lover s Guide to Washington D C Designed for Democracy
- Alison Fortier
Books on DC's Cherry Blossoms
If you're looking for books specifically on DC's cherry blossoms for yourself or as a gift, these two are my favorites.
- Ann McClellan
- Publisher: National Geographic