Springtime means cherry blossoms in the mid-Atlantic states, and usually this coincides with the annual Cherry Blossom Festival.
This year is a special year for the festival as it is the centennial anniversary of the exquisite gift of 3,000 cherry blossom trees Japan gave the U.S. in 1912.
Today thousands of cherry blossoms surround the Washington Mall and Tidal Basin, 100 of the trees are said to be originals from 100 years ago.
Still some traces of color near the Washington Monument
Instead of the customary 16 days for the annual festival, to celebrate a century, the festival will last five weeks, and kicked off this past Tuesday.
Due to the unusually warm weather the Washington region has experienced this month and last, the blossoms have been blooming for weeks, and it appears as if a good part of the festival will be blossom-less.
Word in the area said the peak was last week, and heading downtown on Tues., March 27, it appeared this was indeed the case. To the west of D.C., in Northern Virginia, has had petals dropping for days now, and the rain and wind over the weekend didn't help the blossoms remain attached to the trees.
Heading into DC yesterday, there were still some pretty pinks to be found, but also a lot of green. While the temperatures on Tues. were a bit milder than most days have been in recent weeks, still a gorgeous day for walking. People were out wandering about the Tidal Basin yesterday enjoying what pinks could still be seen.
Peak viewing for Washington D.C.'s cherry blossoms occurred earlier than usual in 2012 for the festival's centennial celebration. Springlike greens will soon dominate (Washington Monument off to the right in the distance)
The tulips were still in bloom, although it looked like some of these these beauties were getting ready to retire for the season as well. Although, many still had some vibrant color. Many people were photographing and/or just lounging out on the field soaking up the pleasant weather.
A couple lounging near the Floral Library enjoying the weather. Ordinarily this time of year the trees behind them would be vibrant with pinks.
The festival is ongoing through Apr. 27, 2012. While the blossoms have passed their peak, there's still much to celebrate. This coming weekend, March 31 will be the Blossom Kite Festival, fireworks on Apr. 7 along with an all-day waterfront festival, and on Sat., Apr. 14 will be the annual parade, with lots of events in between.