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Posted at 12:45 PM ET, 03/30/2009

Washington D.C.'s Cherry Blossom Bloom Begins

By Ian Livingston

* Our Full Forecast | NY Times Climate Story | Cherry Blossom Guide *

Blossoms begin to bloom on the Tidal Basin.

With the start of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, spring has undoubtedly arrived in D.C. In order to beat the crowds, and weekend weather, I decided to head out a day early on Friday. Clouds were plentiful and thickening as I wandered around the Tidal Basin, but rain was still a few hours off when I arrived. The bloom was progressing well, with maybe 30-50% of flowers open. Predicted peak bloom between April 1 and 4 looks on target.

Continue reading for more photos, and check back for more cherry blossom features and photography as the festival continues.

Since the bloom was still in its very early stages, I focused on scenes that were not necessarily the typical ones while also scouting out spots for any other trips I make over the next week or so. Several news crews, including The Weather Channel, were on location -- and the first of many tourists were also making their way around the Tidal Basin loop.

After making my way through the blossoms, I headed to the White House for a shot at dusk.

A man paints the scene in front of him on the Tidal Basin.

Cherry blossom tree with the Arlington Memorial Bridge and Rosslyn, Va. in background.

Cherry blossom tree in full bloom near the Tidal Bason and 14th Street Bridge Complex.

The White House at dusk on Friday. See this image larger.

By Ian Livingston  | March 30, 2009; 12:45 PM ET
Categories:  Cherry Blossoms, Photography  
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