Cherry Blossoms

This is the first time that I’ve gone to the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C. and it was beautiful!  The cherry blossoms were simply spectacular, and walking around the Tidal Basin was quite an adventure.  There were enchanting views of tree after tree in full bloom.  Lots of other people were walking on the paths but there were plenty of opportunities to see the blossoms and take as many pictures as you wanted.  It was a cloudy day and chilly as well, but since snow had been predicted it was a relief to just have cloudy skies with no precipitation.  I bought a wool hat at Union Station to wear for the day and it helped me stay warm.  Too bad I didn’t buy some gloves as well!  I couldn’t help but take hundreds of pictures and my hands were cold, but it was worth it.

Cherry Blossoms

I’m not sure how far I walked but this was one of the views from the path:

Cherry blossom path

Some of the trees were quite old and had interesting trunks.

Very old cherry trees

It was a day I’ll always remember.  I’d like to go back next year, preferably on a warm, sunny day!

 

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Winter to Spring

There have been some interesting variations in the weather this January.  First it was cold and snowy, then it got warm and over the weekend there was a tornado warning.  Now it’s cold again and it might snow in a few days. After all this I’m hoping for an early spring!  I’m going to Florida (Orlando) in a few days and it will definitely be warmer than it is here. I’ve checked the extended weather forecast and it should be warm and sunny while I’m there.  I’m looking forward to seeing some flowers too.  They are always so cheerful and provide a hopeful reminder that spring will be returning, and the sooner the better!

What it looked like last week with snow:

January snow

Flowers that will (hopefully) be here soon…

A Little Snow Before Christmas

 

Last weekend we had some snow and since it’s December it seemed like a good time for it.  After all, it’s almost Christmas.  However, when the sun came out a few days later it warmed up and now the snow is gone.  That one cold, snowy Saturday turned out to be a perfect time for staying home, writing Christmas cards and having a cup of hot chocolate!  I’m also enjoying the displays and decorations I’ve seen this month that are so cheerful for the holidays.  These pictures are of scenes that I’ve admired from past Decembers.  Sometimes it’s nice to stop and simply enjoy the season, especially when a little winter weather comes your way.

Merry Christmas!

Canyon Views and Wildflowers

 

This time I’m talking about Red Canyon in Utah.  I passed it on the road to Bryce Canyon and it looked so interesting I stopped there for a look around on the way back from Bryce.  Red Canyon has some moderately easy walks and hikes, so I walked on one of the shorter trails.  I liked this because I wanted to enjoy the views and take pictures without having to think about steep drop-offs!  I even saw some wildflowers along the way, which I always enjoy wherever I am.  Red Canyon had free admission and parking so I’d like to spend more time there the next time I’m in that area.

Some of the views:

And of course the flowers.

Red Canyon

A Grand Canyon Walk

I’d like to say it was a serious hike rather that a walk, but I was so busy looking around and taking pictures it turned out to be more of a leisurely stroll!  For instance, I saw the Bright Angel Trail and all the people starting off on their adventures, but after only a few steps I realized how narrow the trail was.  I quickly decided that the Rim Trail was enough of a challenge for me.  There are guard rails in many places on the trail and I was always happy to see them.

Here are some of the views from these trails.

I wanted to see the Grand Canyon and keep at a safe distance at the same time.  As a result of doing this I was able to stop, stand back and see views like these.

Grand Canyon vista

Grand Canyon with branch

Adventures and Blue Skies

The sky was a brilliant blue throughout my trip to Arizona and Utah.  When you add that to the sunshine it made a perfect backdrop to some unforgettable places.  Every day the mountains and canyons were even more remarkable because of the beautiful September weather.  Here is an example from Zion National Park:

Blue skies

Later that day the clouds disappeared.

Zion National Park

Here are some other scenes, including a friendly little bird at the Grand Canyon that posed for a picture for me.

You can revisit the past with this famous road and sign in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Route 66

More adventures coming soon!

Scenes from the Southwest

I just got back from a trip to Arizona and Utah, with stops at the Grand Canyon, Sedona, Zion, and Bryce Canyon.  I also drove on Route 66 (now Historic 66) in Flagstaff, Arizona.  There was a lot of driving involved (over 1000 miles) to get from place to place as well as a lot of walking/hiking on trails at the parks.  Everything was gorgeous and the weather was warm – but not hot – and cooled down considerably after the sun went down.

Here is an overview of some of the places I visited, with more from each place coming soon!

Summer Garden with Butterflies

One of the nicest parts about summer is seeing all the flowers in bloom.  Right now in my garden there are purple coneflowers, daisies, black-eyed Susans, bee balm, phlox and many other colorful flowers, all competing for space.  Along with these plants are some interesting visitors such as butterflies, along with bumblebees and honey bees.  One of my favorite herbs is lavender, and since there was so much rain this spring followed by sunshine they have really grown.  Here is an assortment from my garden on a sunny day.  I would have taken more pictures but I was chased away by a bee that didn’t want any humans around!

Autumn Here and There

I was in Colonial Williamsburg yesterday to see the autumn foliage.  I didn’t expect to see so much greenery, especially since it’s November!  It was a delightful day and many people were out walking in shorts and sandals.  I didn’t think it was that warm but I ended up carrying my jacket after walking for a couple of hours.  Here are some of the sights from yesterday.

With everything still so green I wondered if I’d see any fall foliage.  I did find this tree on one of the streets and the colors were lovely.

Autumn

Almost Spring Again

Now that it’s March I know it will be spring soon.  I was out for a walk at a park and when I saw all these hopeful signs of spring I know it won’t be long now.

almost spring

Just a few more days and it will be spring!

Almost spring