Sakura. The Japanese 桜 or 櫻. It’s the time for Hanami (“viewing flowers”). I have to admit that the naturalist in me loves the idea of this pastime. And, having grown up in Washington, D.C., the concept of cherry blossom viewing is particularly attractive. In Spring, every year, we would trek out to the the Park and look at the trees that the Emperor of Japan had sent to us all those years ago, and admire their beauty while listening to the history of our relationship with Japan and the effects of WWII.

When I discovered that the Japanese Garden had several ornamental cherry trees, I vowed to come up and see them during their glory. Opus and I agreed to drag our mothers (both artists) up with us this weekend, so the four of us could appreciate together. Of course, none of us had really expected the sharp and bracing cold front that just swept in. Or the recent snow fall. I have counted 4 snow falls in the past 3 days! In March. Truly the G-ds of Weather have a cruel sense of humor.

But up we went into Washington Park and the Garden. Around we went, admiring the hardy camelias that were fighting to bloom amidst the snow and frost wind. I actually managed a photo of one of the brave cherry trees trying to blossom with snow in the foreground:


(in the background you can see Mum in her ankle-length down coat and Opus’ Mum in her water-proof winter gear)

Onward we trekked, amused by the moss growths on everything:


But, eventually, our efforts were rewarded. In the sheltered area surrounding the Pavilion, we found our perfect cherry tree:


Which we stopped to admire for some time and at several different angles:


After an hour in the 30F weather we finally gave in and headed back indoors, proud of ourselves for making the effort and succeeding. There are more photos here for the truly bored.

Oh, and a last one for the knitters – my traveling socks held by Opus:


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