The University of Washington’s campus is a beautiful collage of great architecture, scenic views and, sometimes even entire flocks of sorority chicks, but ask around and you’ll soon find the biggest attraction: Prunus yedoensis, or Yoshino cherry. They’re gorgeous year-round with their thick, textured bark, but most especially when in bloom.
This year more than any other, I could feel global warming’s pull on nature. Most of the blossoms on the main quad bloomed early while others elsewhere, that maybe had less sunlight, waited two more weeks to come to fruition. Nonetheless, splendid.
Perhaps the most beautiful aspect of these trees’ success is their origin story. They’d been planted in 1939 at the Washington Park Arboretum, but were destined for removal in order to make way for construction on the 520. It was a risk to move them, but it paid off. Every single tree has survived. Even as people flock with cameras, it’s easy to feel like these trees are blooming just for you.
As the petals float down, my imagination travels to 1939, envisioning the hand that planted the seed that, some 76 years later, would make me smile. Besides all the other wonderful things trees do, like make oxygen and shade and homes for all manner of critter, these also offer a very personal connection to the history of the Pacific Northwest.
We could’ve made a killing just taking pictures for people with their cameras! Next time I’m getting my hustle on, but this year I just offered assistance to anybody looking vaguely sad that their whole group couldn’t be in the picture.
Look at this dapper fellow! Who is he? I don’t know. But he was obviously dressed for a photo shoot and I had a camera, so… BAM. That’s how you make new friends! He gave me his email so I could send him the shots, but I can’t find it to save my life.
He’s laughing ’cause I told him to cover that Starbucks logo, I’m not shooting any advertisements (for free)!
These photos got buried in a folder for three months until just recently, so don’t go up to the UW expecting to see them now. They’ll be back Spring 2016.