Searching for Sakuras
It has been over a decade since I've seen an anime series from start to finish, but one recurring theme I've always remembered is the ubiquity of cherry blossoms. There is something absolutely idyllic about cherry blossoms during peak bloom, being carried by the wind, painting the sidewalks with pink petals. I've always wanted to see them at their apogee but they're mostly absent on the West Coast. When I moved to Baltimore, I pledged to myself that I would go see the cherry blossoms every year when they came around. Unfortunately, last year was an abysmal failure since the "season" lasted a mere 3 days due to a rain storm. Suffice to say, I wasn't going to let this season pass this time.
Religiously checking the bloom cam every day and booking my train ticket for the putative peak bloom weekend, I was sorely disappointed to find that the cherry blossoms were only beginning to sprout. Despite catching some pictures during their Puffy White phase, most of the trees were noticeable bare. Returning to Baltimore after an unsuccessful trip, I was reluctant to head back down to DC during the week because of school, but when I saw how magnificent they looked during the week via web cams, I decided I needed to go back.
Two days after peak bloom, I booked a 5am ticket to DC to catch the cherry blossoms during sunrise. After arriving in DC at 6am, walking over to the Tidal Basin, I breathe a sigh of relief knowing that I made it on time. As the sun peaked over the horizon, slowly lighting the Jefferson Memorial and illuminating the basin with its incandescent beams, I witness the beauty I only hoped to capture. The synergy between the morning sun and cherry blossoms at their peak lent to magnificent views of the area. I left that morning satisfied and grateful that I now lived close enough to DC that this was possible. Though I vowed that I would never wake up at 4am again to just take pictures of flowers (I really enjoy my sleep), I must admit that the views were breathtaking.
Chances are, I'll probably return. Until next year, enjoy.
Location: Tidal Basin, Washington D.C
Gear: D700, 24-70 2.8, 70-200 2.8