Sunday, March 28, 2010

Then and now...and kites!!

How do you know when you need new shoes? After walking around the Tidal Basin and part of the Mall your legs feel like someone went after them with a bat. Thankfully, that's why god made analgesics.

You know what time it is, right? It's time for these:

I'm no expert, but I'd say the cherry blossoms were about at about 60 percent this past weekend. For what the experts say check out the bloom watch page of the National Cherry Blossom Festival site.

First off, let's get the rules straight. If you're thinking about doing this:

Or this:
Don't! This just annoys the crap out of me. Basically, the trees that are big enough to climb or hang off of are some of the oldest and really don't deserve being abused by idiots.

Now, on to the fun stuff. Remember Dec. 19, 2009? Let me refresh your memory. It was the first day of our first big snow storm. That Saturday morning I headed out for a trudge around the Mall and the Tidal Basin. Remember how everything looked that day? Here, let me jog your memory:

That's how the Tidal Basin looked on Dec. 19. This is how it looked on Saturday, March 27, 2010:

I did my best to replicate the angle and view of the first picture. In fact, I was looking from a print of the snowy picture to the viewfinder and back just to make sure I got the blossoms right. Here's another one from Dec. 19:

The thing I find amazing is that the snow was coming down so hard you can't see the Washington Monument. Thankfully, it decided to show up on Saturday:

With another week or so of blossoms left, I'm sure I'll be back out there with my camera again soon.

Another big event on Saturday was the Smithsonian Kite Festival. The skies around the Mall were alive with color zooming this way and that. Here's a couple of shots of the skies over Washington, D.C.:

And, finally, one last shot of the Tidal Basin:
More to come, after I buy a new pair of shoes.


magnolia said...

i didn't think it was possible for me to be more homesick for DC than i usually am... until i saw all these amazing tidal basin pictures. seven weeks until i can come home!

J said...

Wow - I hadn't seen your December pics until now, somehow. Really great, all around!

Joaquin said...

We make it to DC every couple of years, and there is nothing more beautiful than the Tidal Basin when the blooms are out.
Thanks for the picks!

FoggyDew said...

magnolia - Although you'll miss the Cherry Blossom tourist infestation, you'll be just in time for the annual summer hoard. The best part about the blossoms is they show up every year.

J - Yes, how did you miss them? Thanks for the compliment.

Joaquin - Ignore the comment above about tourists, we welcome you with open arms (as long as you stand right).

Lemon Gloria said...

I LOVE the contrast of BW tidal basin with snow right before the one with lovely spring colors and pinky blooms! I wish we'd gone down to the Mall for the kites. We talked about it, but in the end other more prosaic stuff won out.

FoggyDew said...

Lisa - I'll tell you (and I guess everyone else) a secret: Those two December pictures? They're in color. Yeah, not kidding. Turns out the trees have black bark and with the snow was falling at about an inch or two an hour, that's what happens. Makes for a neat effect, eh?

Liebchen said...

I love that comparison shot with the snow and then the blossoms. It makes you appreciate the color just that much more.

FoggyDew said...

Liebchen - Come summer (and fall) there'll be two more pictures up there to compare. But you're right, the contrast is striking.

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Alice said...

man, i always manage to miss the kite festival. boo on me.

fantastic pictures, love the comparison shots! i'll be headed out this weekend (with the crowds.. alas..)

FoggyDew said...

Mike - Or whoever you are, I looked at your site, it looks way too much like a phishing expedition. Get bent.

Alice - From what I've heard, the kite festival has been missing you. Not literally, of course, but someone said this was the first year it hasn't been rained out in a long, long time. Have fun with the hoards.

Sebastian said...

Lovely pics, Foggy -- especially the comparison shot, with and without the Monument :)

The first kites shot is also great.

I was in D.C. for the end of the cherry blossoms... a few years ago now. Very pretty.

FoggyDew said...

Seb - As always, thanks. Yes, the disappearing Washington Monument is my best trick yet.

Not a bad time to visit if you don't mind the crowds.