How a Search for Cherry Blossoms Ended with Plastic Horses

Our mission: search for and shoot cherry blossoms in the Tidal Basin in DC. We thought we were being sneaky by deciding to drive up in mid-March, early on the Sunday of “Spring Forward” (which, FYI, feels reallllly early when you lose an hour). The winter (if you can call it that) was so warm, trees in Richmond started blooming early in March, and even the lilacs – which typically don’t bloom until May – are blooming this week. We figured it would be the same in DC. I learned a lesson about climate zones that day though, because even though DC is only two hours away from Richmond, where the trees were blooming brightly, not a bud of cherry blossoms was to be seen in DC. The only blooms we could find were magnolias, in two different forms, and we photographed the bonkers out of them. We weren’t about to turn around and go home though; we had purchased all-day Metro passes and intended to get our money’s worth. Plus, it was a gorgeous day, perfect for wandering through downtown DC for six hours and shooting. Nerice (my fellow traveler) isn’t really into street photography, but I was in heaven. Street photography – a type of documentary, candid photography shot in public places – is by far my favorite type of photography. I love capturing the emotions of strangers and folks who don’t know they’re being photographed, and seeing the way they relate to each other.

We started our walk around the monuments, as that’s where we had planned to go when our plan still involved cherry blossoms. We meandered around the Washington and Lincoln memorials, Nerice shooting monuments and me shooting people shooting monuments. We walked a LOT – learned some lessons about what to bring and what not to bring with us on our next shooting escapades – ended up in Chinatown for lunch and then wandered back down through downtown, stumbled across a St. Patty’s Day parade (a week earlier than St. Patrick’s Day) and ended up back where we started in front of the Smithsonian, rewarding ourselves with a Nutty Buddy and soft pretzel. It was exhausting, but I loved it. I rarely get a chance to go out and just shoot for myself, especially not with another photographer, and it reminded me that I really need to do it more.

Nerice, thanks for the invitation, we need to do it again!

Ironicly, the bagpiper in Chinatown was not part of the St. Patrick’s Day parade.

The man in the VCU Arts hoodie gave me a smile and a nod when I hollered “GO VCU!” to him. It’s fun to see people from home in faraway places. Reminds me of our trip to Houston for the Final Four last March.

Does anyone know what Bolivia has to do with St. Patrick’s Day? Tell me in the comments; I have no idea.

A man in the metro station told me to “stop shooting trash and shoot that gorilla.” So, for him… do you see it? He said they’re all over the city.

4 thoughts on “How a Search for Cherry Blossoms Ended with Plastic Horses

  1. My favorite people pic was “Richard Gere” and his family – so serene. It is interesting to watch others’ reactions and responses to monuments or other moving events. Good job.

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