Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Cherrapy



I want to do with you what spring does with the cherry trees. ~Pablo Neruda

Cherry madness is passing quickly here in Washington DC. The gnarly black trunks started blooming at least a week ago. When I was there today it was clear they were past their peak, though the official biologist, who revised his prediction at least twice, dug in his heels and stuck with a date that coincides with the Cherry Blossom Festival but is not in alignment with what's going on with the trees. I can only imagine the arm twisting and political intrigue that kept him for saying what must be clear to everyone. My, my. We can't upset the visitors here for the festival. I guess!



I wouldn't miss it - I mean the annual ritual of walking round the Tidal Basin during cherry blossom season. It's always a beautiful landscape, but when the cherries bloom, it becomes unworldly, exotic. Wandering beneath the ring of cool pink fire, next to a peaceful body of water, cleanses and heals, gently burns away any energy you don't need. If you've never seen them, please know: you should. If you live here and don't go down, how sad! A walk around the basin lifts the heart, opens the mind, brings inspiration and creativity. It helps everything. What are you waiting for?

It was alien, exotic, beautiful - and weird - down there today. It's WAY too early for the trees to have passed their peak. Most years it happens between March 25 and April 8. The peak usually is fairly predictable, or was anyway. The trees felt kind of drunk to me, the afternoon drunkenness that follows a few too many glasses of wine with lunch. It's fun, but the rest of the day and evening are shot.



Due to the very weird vibe, I wandered somewhat astray from my usual path around the basin. I was drawn to walk next to the river instead of completing the circuit as I usually do. There weren't too many people by the river, and too I LOVE the Potomac. Jake and I walked there often when I still had my car. He loved that particular strip as much as I did.



It's my practice to eat a blossom or two. I know I'm not supposed to, but it always seems right. Ordinarily the blossoms taste like a sour version of Vicks 44. The cherry taste is there, but no sweetness. Today's blossoms were so bitter I actually could not consume them. I felt my mouth shriveling as if I'd eaten a persimmon, had to spit them out.

Please don't ask me if that means something. I thought about it but have no idea. Do you?

17 comments:

kbrow said...

I love the title of this blog post. I miss DC more than ever, when the cherry blossoms are blooming. Atlantis has no such concentration of cherry trees, and while our early spring has been very pretty, it has now spiraled into a yellow, pollen-coated haze.

My theory about the bitter blossoms? Well, it takes a true winter dormancy to develop sweetness - the sugars, as it were.

Linda Sue said...

ACK! you photos and YOU HEADER- so awesome and paint worthy! BEAUTIFUL!!!

Steve Reed said...

The last time I went to see the cherry blossoms was about ten years ago, and I'm pretty sure it was the end of March. So yeah, this does seem a wee bit early for the peak.

Eating the blossoms -- what an interesting urge! I never even thought to eat a cherry blossom, but why not??

Lynne said...

Beautiful pics Reya and I love the idea of Cherrapy. It's so true. There is something soothing about just standing underneath a cherry tree in full bloom.

Did you know that a park called Branch Brook (in all places Newark NJ) has over 2,000 cherry trees/28 different species in all? They are early too and are in bloom this week. We go every year!

I might just try to eat one when we go on Friday!

I need orange said...

I love Washington. Thank you for sharing the cherries with us!

Everything is scarily early here, too. Crocus, forsythia, daffodils, magnolias, all blooming at once.... It's just ... wrong. 80, in March, in Michigan? No.

And yet..............

Reya Mellicker said...

Kbrow YES. That's what's wrong.

We had no winter. It's a problem!

Val said...

WOW SENSATIONAL! DO THEY SMELL? HOW IS THE HAYFEVER?? (sorry caps lock); so hard to put a forward date on natural events but they looks so fresh and explosive right now. Were the cherry trees always there or were they planted? i would never have known about the cherry festival save for your blog!

Reya Mellicker said...

Val, you and I learn from each other all the time!

The Japanese government gave the U.S. the trees exactly 100 years ago this year. They don't have any particular fragrance, but the vibe - wow, the vibe. Walking underneath the bowers of flowers will cure just about any mood. Wish you could walk there with me. It could happen some day. It could!

Rebecca Clayton said...

When you're trying to identify a winter tree and you think it might be a wild cherry, you chew on the twig. That bitter taste tells you it is indeed a cherry. Maybe the trees are really feeling their cherriness this year?

X said...

Such beautiful photographs

Reya Mellicker said...

Thanks!

Meri said...

Dear Reya: I'm going to repost this on FinallyMe.com for those who can't get there and those bamboozled by the early blast of blossoms. Thanks for the inspiration!

Pearl said...

What a beautiful scene.

Never been to DC...

Pearl

C.M. Jackson said...

Beautiful. Hope they last for a while longer. Great cherrapy.

Val said...

i hope so!

Cheryl Cato said...

As always your photos are stunning, but I can see the difference from this years shots to last years. There was much more pink-ness to the blossoms then.

Great cloud bank with the monument in the foreground.

Oh, I love that you titled this "Cherrapy"!

Cyndy said...

Your photos are absolutely gorgeous!