Yoshino cherry trees in bloom on the University of Washington campus

Yoshino cherry trees in bloom on the University of Washington campus

“Since every variety of tree and plant comes into bloom in its own time in one of the four seasons, we prize the timeliness and rarity of the blooming of each. . . . Now what we call hana or ‘flowering,’ what we call ‘interesting,’ and what we call ‘rarity’ are not three separate things but really one and the same.  But all flowers eventually are scattered, none stays in bloom.  And it is precisely because it blooms and perishes that a flower holds our interest as something rare. . . . to know the flowering is first of all to know that nothing abides.”
— Zeami, from Kadensho, translated by William LaFleur

“Death is the mother of Beauty.”
— Wallace Stevens

Mother and child, cherry blossom viewing

Mother and child, cherry blossom viewing

Cherry blossom viewing carries with it a Japanese sensibility, the awareness of the ephemeral.  It is heartening to see such a diverse group of people enjoying the magnificent blooming cherry trees on the University of Washington campus.  These Yoshino cherry trees are a natural wonder.

The Quad at the University of Washington

The Quad at the University of Washington

Blossoms shimmer in the sunlight

Blossoms shimmer in the sunlight

Gnarly bark

Gnarly bark

Photographing a fallen blossom

Photographing a fallen blossom

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Another blossoming tree on the U of W campus

Another blossoming tree on the U of W campus

 

 

Walking down the quad at the University of Washington during cherry blossom time

This post is a gift of armchair travel to my readers who do not live in Seattle.  If you are a resident of Seattle, I urge you to go to the University of Washington to view the cherry blossoms.  Now!  The lovely Yoshino cherry trees are full of cascading blossoms and I’m afraid the peak will be over soon.  You really don’t want to miss this sight.

I’ve enjoyed hanami in Seattle, viewing these cherry blossoms, for many years.  The blooming trees are so picturesque, but it is getting harder and harder to make fresh and interesting photographs of the spectacle.  I try to bring new eyes, but it’s still challenging.  This year, I decided to play around with black and white and also with some of the photo manipulation edits on Picasa.  I’ll share some of these experiments at the end of this post.  Enjoy!

Dappled light

Viewing the cherry trees through magnolia branches

Blossoming Yoshino cherry trees encircle the quad at the University of Washington

Dense clusters of blossoms

Cherry trees with bench

Cherry blossom, blue sky

A photographer's wonderland

An inverted world, reflections in a puddle

Dome and cherry trees, U of W campus

Child with fallen blossoms

Building family memories

Snapping photos of the cherry blossoms

The quad was a great place for people-watching.

Single branch back-lit by the peek-a-boo sun

Distinctive clusters of Yoshino cherry blossoms

Cherry blossom viewing at the University of Washington

The quad seen through the branches of a flowering magnolia tree

Under the cherry trees

Cherry blossoms seen through the skeleton of a magnolia tree

Lamp post under the cherry trees

Cherry trees on the quad, University of Washington campus

Under a cherry tree

Bike racks with cherry trees

Yoshino cherry blossoms

Line of Yoshino cherry trees in soft focus

Magnolia and cherry blossoms with inverted colors

Cherry trees with Lomo-ish effect

Bark and blossoms with Lomo-ish effect

Cherry blossoms with inverted color effect

Looking through magnolia branch, with softened effect