Saturday, March 17, 2012

Early Spring Warmth

Spring has come with some very warm temperatures to the mid-Atlantic region of the United States this year. The official arrival of the season is not until Tuesday but the past few days have been very warm even if there has been some cool fog. The beautiful orange bird in the above picture was flying about in our daughter's yard on Wednesday and Thursday. The leaves are not out on all of the trees but the signs are there especially with the songs of the birds and warmth of the sun.

Bill and I went to Arlington on Wednesday to babysit for Erica and Geoff who were celebrating their 8th Wedding Anniversary. We arrived in the late afternoon and had lots of time to enjoy the enthusiasm and play of our grandson Jake. First he had to go for a walk with Bill and Bentley. Jake wore his astronaut costume (I made for Halloween) and delighted all the walkers in the area. Upon their return they headed for the backyard for some baseball, "Washington Nationals" baseball Jake informs us. He has grown so much and it is evident he is becoming more and more coordinated in his pitching. The photos that follow are of Jake and Bill and a three-year old's idea of a perfect game: 

Bentley checking out the scene.

Daffodils lifting their sweet heads at a corner of the shed.

The next day we went on an adventure. The first step was to get from the China Town area of Washington to the Tidal Basin so we could walk about and view what Cherry Blossoms were blooming. That is easier said than done with all the "spring break" tourists, a beautiful day (84 degrees) that has brought out what seems to be all of the city's workers, the circus (Ringling Bros) is in town and the GPS cannot decide which right we need to make. Eventually we make it to the area we usually park and then view the blossoms. Since the opening of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial the area where we park is now busy with all sorts of folks, buses, cars and taxi's. However, we were able to park down the street a few hundred feet directly in front of the service area for the King Memorial. We had not visited the memorial yet and this presented us with the excellent opportunity.

One side of the granite gorge like opening to the area.
The statue of Dr. King looking over the Tidal Basin.

The King Memorial is adjacent to the walk on the Tidal Basin. We walked a ways from there to view the very early cherry blossoms. The photos which follow are for us a very pleasant reminder of a beautiful day:

Canadian geese enjoying the sun and smooth water.

Jefferson Monument from the entrance of the King Memorial
The first of the blossoms. I am quite sure these trees will be simply full of blossoms this weekend.

The pink in sunshine was not very visible with the eye so I was pleasantly surprised when I looked at the pictures.

A female mallard
Her drake
The pair

For sure, the blossoms are showing their heads.

Can you just imagine this shot in a couple of days?

My two favorite guys strolling the walkway.

Boughs ready to burst with blossoms.

The Washington Monument is glorious sunshine.

Plein Air artist taking advantage of the day.

Trio of geese

The Washington Monument in the ripples

The beautiful Jefferson Monument

Washington Reflection

Time out for a snack.

Yet, another view.

The next series of photos are of Jake as he watches a plein air artist.

Hmmm, maybe we should go.

Jake and Bacca Bill make their way to the car.

These words by Dr. King were viewed as we left the Tidal Basin and the Memorial area. A truth ever so important in the world we live in today.

So our visit to the 2012 National Cherry Blossom Festival was an early this warm March but like all of the others, it was a peaceful, beautiful visit and a reminder of what a wonderful country we have.