Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Cherry Poppin' 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 & 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...
YearGreen Color in BudsFlorets VisibleExtension of
Peduncle ElongationPuffy WhitePeak Bloom
20122/29 3/83/123/143/153/20

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.

And what if there are no puffy whites?  Well - there's always this...
After all, it's your tax dollars at work.


  1. Love cherry blossoms! Here in the Bay Area, saw the first one on Jan 31st. Now they're all dead.

    CJ Olson's sounds great if I'm ever down that way ...

    1. @D - you should definitely check it out. But wait till the Bings are in.

      It looks like Olson's is in the middle of a parking lot now, but it used to be right on the corner of I think Mathilda and El Camino Real in Sunnyvale.

  2. Buffy's hometown.
    Does that allergy kick in for fresh plums and peaches too (but cherries are the worst). Takes away some of summer.
    Mitch you can always try the stamp museum if no blossoms on the trees.