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  • Writer's pictureAnne

My annual obsession

The last few weeks have been a little rough. Starting a business is a solid leap outside my comfort zone and I definitely get overwhelmed. 

To cheer myself up, I decided to focus on one of my favorite things about living in the DC area. The cherry blossoms! Sure, we're months beyond this year's batch, but better late than never!

Each year, I do my level best to get down to the Tidal Basin at some point during peak bloom. Even if it’s only a drive-by. Yes, it can be a mob scene. Let’s start with parking. It’s a challenge. You can spend more time trying to find a space than actually walking amidst the blossoms. When you do eventually find a legal (hopefully) spot, the walkways are packed with people, strollers, dogs, tripods, etc. There’s a lot of dodging.

I don’t care. 

There are plenty of amazing wide-angle shots taken by far more talented photographers. No, mostly I’m in it for the close-up shots. It doesn’t matter to me that the walkways are wall-to-wall people. 

The first time I saw peak bloom in person was 1991. I’d moved to DC that winter and was living on Massachusetts Ave, SE, just beyond Capitol Hill. My then fiancé and I walked the 3 miles to the Tidal Basin. And the 3 miles back. My feet hurt, but man, it was so totally worth it! I was hooked immediately. It was late enough into peak that the petals had started falling, covering the ground below the trees. Just gorgeous. 

That was the start of my obsession and my annual attempt to experience them in person. I’ve got a pretty decent record, too, though we missed a few years when the boys were younger and less tolerant of such outings. Now that they’re grown and totally into trees and plants and flowers, I’ll have to give it another go with them!

Throughout, though, my husband has been a serious trooper. We’ve lived in Maryland the last 16 years and he commutes home through the District, specifically via Independence Ave. Peak blossom days are a total nightmare for him. It takes ages to navigate past the Tidal Basin. And yet, he lets me drag him back into the city if peak falls over a weekend. He even got up before dawn a few years ago so we could join the masses and watch the sun rise over the Jefferson Memorial. Yeah, definitely a keeper.

This year, he got a pass as I took advantage of not having a 9-to-5 job and snuck into DC by myself during the week. Talk about a different world. Missed my sidekick, but got there early enough to have some serious space around me. Even so, I still focused mostly on tighter shots! Here are a few of my favorites.

Close-up shots of the cherry blossoms are what got me hooked on taking pictures of flowers in the first place. So, it makes sense (to me) that they feature prominently in my online print gallery. For you Instagrammers, this week I’ll be sharing some additional pics in my feed, so be sure to follow along @annecorcoranphotography.

I may already have an overflowing collection of favorite cherry blossom shots, but you can expect me to add a new set next spring!

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