My Scribble

Chasing the Cherry Blossoms in Oregon

April 7, 2017

 Post alert! There is an overdoze of cherry blossoms in this post.

Oh Wind! if winter comes, can spring be far behind? – P.B. Shelley (Very rightly said! hang on, spring will arrive gracefully)

It all began in a very funny manner. I used to keep an eye on the trees in front of my apartment and the trail nearby thinking they would bloom at its best in spring. But my hope ended when I din’t see any visible changes in them even after the spring hit. Then slowly the trees in the road side starting blooming and I was super excited to see them. I told my husband “I am going to chase these cherry blossoms”. It rhymes well isn’t? That’s how the name of this  blog post originated. I have never seen cherry blossoms in my life. My friend rightly said, Portland, Oregon is like heaven to me after coming from the barren Houston, Texas. I know Dallas has blossoms festival in April but I never got a chance to visit Dallas blooms. So this year, I did not want to miss this chance of seeing the most sought after blossoms in Oregon. I was waiting for the trees in my community to bloom but some of them did not. Meanwhile, I jotted down and started hunting for places where the cherry blossoms have bloomed and are in pretty good colors. Pinterest, facebook pages, Instagram, and friends were my sources of locating places. My favorite weather app kept disappointing me with the rain signs every weekend, And finally, I am happy to the fact that Oregon’s hard winter is drawing to an end and I am able to enjoy the momentary glimpses of sunshine. Also, this post is a photo blog and my readers can just enjoy the snaps taken by me.

This was my first cherry blossom tree experience. The flowers were white in color and they were sprung in bunches.

Did you know that the people in Portland don’t have to check out the calendar to see if spring has arrived? They just keep an eye on the 100 cherry trees in the Tom McCall waterfront situated in Portland downtown. If these 100 cherry trees have bloomed and blushed fully. Then the spring has officially arrived. The white and pinkish flowers start popping from the mid of March and set a beautiful pink canopy for the travelers until mid-April.

What is the history behind these 100 cherry blossoms? These 100 cherry blossom trees were donated by the Japanese Grain Importers Association of Tokyo in the year 1990. These trees were planted in 1990 along the Willamette River to commemorate the internment of Japanese American during WWII. This park attracts more visitors from throughout the city during the spring when the cherry blossoms are in complete bloom.

100 cherry trees (Japaneese name for Cherry blossoms – “sakura”) planted along the Willlamete river. This pic was over exposed and I had just one shot. So I had to edit it a bit.

I went on a Saturday afternoon and it was quite cloudy till 4 pm. And all of a sudden, the clouds cleared the way to the Sun God. Haha! and the waterfront was swarming with people just to applaud the blossoms. I could see the families taking pictures of their kids, some of them were clicking some creative shots with their dogs, kids were shaking the trees and were playing with the petals that fell on them and a handful of people (like me) were obsessively asking their husbands to click some good shots. What an incessant experience for the husbands right? Duh, it is cherry blossom trail! 😛 and tell me who would not want a beautiful photograph.

 

The trees are in full bloom right now. With the rain in the forecast and petals falling down, it is predicted that the flowers will remain until the mid of April.

I just loved the contrast of pink flowers and the metallic bridge in the background.

I know the weather keeps changing in Oregon. But rain or shine, cherry blossoms have a lot to offer and adds a lot of color to your life. So head over to Tom McCall Waterfront to see this glory. This park is perfect for a picnic, lunch out, cycling, jogging or even good for just taking a nap amidst the hundreds of cherry trees. Well, we did that.

If you ask yourself whether you are really missing out something big? Then you surely are. Aren’t they magical?

Also, don’t be under an assumption that you would encounter only pink flowers in a cherry blossoms canopy. Because, I made that mistake at the first place. I thought that all the flowers would just be pink and pink only. While it is true that most varieties produce pink and white flowers, there are dark pink, yellow and green ones too. Furthermore, sometimes the same variety of cherry blossoms may change its color over a period of time. And due to pollination, one tree can have both pink and white too.

Now these are white blooms and they have a light yellow spot in the centre which  adds a beautiful contrast. They grow in bunches and adds more glory.
This flower was seen in the Tom McCall waterfront and they were slightly pinkish. I could find around 4 to 5 flowers in the same stem and they too had a yellow spot in the center. These are very delicate flowers and can fall off in just one jigle to the tree.

A dark pink bunch which bloomed near by my home
yet another color variant found near my home

Might you be eager to know the origin of cherry blossoms right? It all originated in Japan. The best time to visit Japan to see the cherry blossoms is from January to April. But of course, many of us may not be able to fly to Japan just to see the blossoms. So don’t worry, the United States have the blossoms festival in all the four corners of the country. I am listing the 10 best places in the United States (East, South, Mid- West, West) where you can experience these magical blooms just like in Japan.

*I am lucky that I could see atleast one of them from the list.*

  1. Washington D.C – Washington DC is home to the United State’s largest cherry blossom festival: the National Cherry Blossom Festival.
  2. New  York city, New York – Don’t miss to visit the Brooklyn botanical garden on any of these days. They have some of the beautiful displays of cherry blossoms in all of New York.
  3. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – 1,600 cherry trees was gifted in 1926 in honor of the 150th anniversary of American Independence. WOW!
  4. Nashville, Tennessee –  Each year the city plants 100 more tress during the cherry blossoms festival.
  5. Macon, Georgia – Macon is known as the cherry blossoms capital of the world for the numerous cherry blossoms trees. But unfortunatlly they have nothing to do with Japanese culture.
  6. Urbana, Illinois – These Cherry trees were given as a gift from the Urasenke Tea School back in 2009. And Urbana is the only place where cherry blooms are found.
  7. St. Louis, Missouri –  The Missouri Botanical Garden is home to over 230 cherry blossom trees.
  8. San Francisco, California – Blossoms can be see scattered throughout Japantown, the San Francisco Botanic Garden and the Japanese Tea Garden located within Golden Gate Park.
  9. Portland, Oregon – I need not tell you where, you can just scroll up. 😛
  10.  Seattle, Washington – 1,000 cherry trees were gifted to Seattle by Japan’s Prime Minister in celebration of the nation’s bicentennial. Since then, many more have been planted around the city making it one of the top places to see cherry blossom.

Source for the above info: Google

Yet another photograph and a quote to end this post beautifully. “Is the spring coming?” he said. “What is it like?”… “It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine…” ― Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

See you soon!

Xoxo

 

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