There's not much to see down at the cherry blossoms so far, and even the tulip magnolias and most of the daffodils haven't yet come out. Combined with a very cold weekend, spring is feeling a bit like a technicality. But things are looking up as the sun starts to come out this afternoon and the forecast for the coming week is better.
The traffic restrictions on Ohio Drive haven't yet kicked in, so for now it's still 2-way traffic down by West Potomac Park. My guess is that that might change this coming weekend as visitor numbers swell with people coming into town for Easter. The lighting of the Japanese stone lantern is scheduled for Sunday afternoon. You can find more details here.
Over at the Maine Ave parking lot, the NPS popup shops and information booths, as well as the food tent and an outdoor stage, are now open for business and have a program of events happening, but they're still waiting on tourist traffic to pick up. That said, it's definitely busier than it has been around the Tidal Basin, helped along by families and school groups visiting during spring break.
There were a handful of paddle boats out today. I talked with the folks there about their reservations. All of their reservations are booked up through April 12, which is when the end of their reservation period is. But that doesn't mean you can't get a paddle boat. They have a total of 72 boats and 50 of them are kept aside for walk-ups. So it's still possible to get a boat on a first-come, first-served basis.
I had some questions about the water features the FDR Memorial. I did see one small waterfall working, but most of the water features still weren't on.
There haven't been any updates to the peak bloom forecasts. So far, there hasn't been anything to suggest that the bloom will come earlier because it has been consistently colder than average. You can find the current ones here. And I've posted a new photo timeline of what to expect, when.
And so we don't totally lose faith that spring is coming, here are some shots taken this morning at the small group of trees blooming early over near the World War One Memorial. They're not at all typical of the progress of most of the trees, but if you're looking for some color there is some to be found if you go hunting. I have detailed information on how to find them on the March 24 update.
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.