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2012's Cherry Blossoms Reach Full Bloom In D.C. (PHOTOS)

The Huffington Post     First Posted: 03/21/2012 9:03 am   Updated: 03/21/2012 2:39 pm

WASHINGTON -- In an unusual meteorological turn of events, this year's calendar spring has coincided with the peak bloom of D.C.'s iconic cherry blossoms. Whether you call it climate change, coincidence or magic, the centennial celebration of the District of Columbia's cherry blossom trees is naturally delivering some photogenic flora.

And this year's National Cherry Blossom Festival has started this week, too. Familiar functions like the fireworks on April 7 and the Festival Parade on April 14 are sure bets for the traditionalist attendees. The festival is slated to last for five weeks.

With two newly-minted Capital Bikeshare stations, cycling is perhaps the best way to experience the cherry blossoms.

This weekend, check out the Cherry Blossom Bike Ride and Cycle Expo starting on Sunday at 10 a.m. on the Georgetown waterfront. The event will provide opportunities for bike maintenance, training programs and "the first celebrity-led ride" along the Capital Crescent Trail. (You must pre-register to ride and the celebrity is thus far unnamed.)

But there are those who just can't stomach the masses of people sure to be at the Tidal Basin. For the crowd-averse, the technical services department of the Casey Trees foundation has created a map of pinpointing the different types of cherry blossom trees all over the city -- Yoshino, snow goose, Kwanzan and others. The map is thorough and worth perusing; each tree has its common name, Latin name, who planted it and in most cases, a Google street view. If you're willing to travel even farther from the Tidal Basin, the Kenwood subdivision in Bethesda, Md., has beautiful Yoshino trees which The Huffington Post visited this past weekend.

As our way of celebrating, we've created a slideshow perfect for cherry blossom gawkers.

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  • Spring At The MLK Jr. Memorial

    German exchange students Alena Stasen, right, Clara Herrmann, center, and Rose Modersohn, take souvenir pictures under cherry blossom trees at the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial.

  • Relaxing Under The Trees

    Enjoying beautiful weather under the fragrant shade of blooming cherry trees.

  • Scott Circle

    The Winfield Scott statue is just visible through the cherry blossom trees in Scott Circle.

  • Photographing The Jefferson Memorial

    A person takes a picture of the Jefferson Memorial behind cherry blossoms, which have come into full bloom due to the early warm weather along the East Coast.

  • The Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC

    In the distance, the Jefferson Memorial can be seen through the delicate pick blossoms in the foreground.

  • Framing The Washington Memorial

    The Washington Monument in Washington, DC can be seen as a back drop to the Cherry blossoms in full bloom.

  • Sunset At The Tidal Basin

    The sun sets behind cherry blossoms at the Tidal Basin, which have come into full bloom due to the early warm weather along the East Coast.

  • Sunset At The Tidal Basin

    The sun sets behind cherry blossoms, which have come into full bloom due to the early warm weather along the East Coast.

  • At The Capitol

    A dogwood tree is in full bloom in front of the U.S. Capitol.

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