Cherry Blossom Time and Taxes

You all know (don’t you?) that in our nation’s capital, your tax dollars support not only the great (free) Smithsonian Museums and (free) National Zoo, they also support the National cherry trees located all around the National Mall…
By Mitch Weinstein

Cherry Blossom Time and Taxes

Cherries used to be my favorite fruit. When I lived in San Jose, Bing cherry season was a time for excess – I’d eat them by the pound, often heading out from work at lunchtime (yes, a real Silicon Valley job) to a place called C. J. Olson – yes, a real live cherry stand (it’s still there!) where the best cherries you’ve ever tasted were sold right from their own orchard…they were literally the size of small plums – crisp, sweet and tart – everything you’d want from a perfect fruit. Sadly, I can’t eat ’em as piggishly as before (for allergic reasons), but I still sneak a few dozen in every now and then, especially during Bing season.

What does all this have to do with cherries now? To be honest, not a damn thing, but this coming weekend Significant Eater and I are spending our time in D.C. with some friends and some family so that we can go see, yes – cherry trees.

Well, to be a bit more specific, cherry blossoms. You all know (don’t you?) that in our nation’s capital, your tax dollars support not only the great (free) Smithsonian Museums and (free) National Zoo, they also support the National cherry trees located all around the National Mall…

The first trees were a gift from Japan, planted in the early 1900s – during the administration of William Taft (those Republicans and their spending) – and now there are well over 3,000 trees – not offering fruit, but instead showing themselves off via their beautiful blossoms…

All well and good…providing the damn trees have blossoms. You see, every year the Park Service guesstimates when the cherry trees will bloom.  It’s called the Bloom Watch

Year Green Color in Buds Florets Visible Extension of
Florets
Peduncle Elongation Puffy White Peak Bloom
2013 3/11 3/17 ? ? ? ?
2012 2/29  3/8 3/12 3/14 3/15 3/20
2011 2/28 3/9 3/16 3/19 3/22 3/29
2010 3/14 3/19 3/21 3/23 3/26 3/31
2009 3/8 3/12 3/18 3/23 3/27 4/1
2008 2/19 3/11 3/17 3/19 3/24 3/29
2007 3/5 3/20 3/25 3/27 3/28 4/1
2006 2/28 3/13 3/14 3/16 3/22 3/30

A month ago, they were predicting peak bloom to be March 26th – 30th.  Now – well, let’s just say not this weekend. I mean, I’m hoping for the peduncles to be elongated, but that’s just me. Extension of florets? That would be nice. Puffy white? A coup.

After all, it’s your tax dollars at work.

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