Monday, February 22, 2010

Olympic Cherry Blossom Festival

One of the springtime pleasures of living in Vancouver is that for some reason back in the twenties even or there abouts, the city decided that one of the preferred street plantings would be the Japanese cherry tree which erupts the moment the temperature warms slightly in the spring into a huge mass of pink flowers.  As a result this town becomes flooded with pink blossoms about the same time as the crocuses burst out.

Most years, a late snow and a cold snap ensure that this occurs sometime in March.  However, as anyone following the Olympics must know be now, Vancouver has been experiencing pleasant spring like weather.  The crocuses are out all over and the first of the cherry trees have begun to blossom.

That suggests that the last week of the Olympics will see the bulk of the trees reach full blossom.  It is one of the most gorgeous trees we have and it is no surprise it is esteemed in Japan.  I have never seen it make any fruit, but that is certainly not why they are planted.

Vancouver is almost cut off from the weather of the rest of the continent which is controlled here by incoming systems from the Pacific.  This gives us a sometimes awful rainy season that usually hit hard before Christmas and peters out into February.  However, like California and the rest of the Pacific Northwest we have a oceanic coastal regime that is moderate temperate for the most and does not reach very far inland.

The actual average for February snowfall is an unremarkable 21 centimeters, usually delivered every four years or so in one big dump.

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