Hanami, So Cal Style

Today I had to drive to the valley to my old place and pick up a couple of things. As I was zooming down the 405 freeway, it occurred to me to get off and drive by Lake Balboa to see if the cherry trees were blooming. As you can see, it was a good idea and they were certainly in bloom. It was an absolutely glorious day and the exact reason why I live in Southern California—while parts of the rest of the country are languishing under piles of snow from record, late-winter storms.

In Spring of 2006 before I went to Japan, the Japanese Club at Pierce College went to see the cherry blossoms and have a picnic. It was really my first time and it was indeed a lot of fun. I can only imagine what the trees must look like in Japan in the spring, and can totally understand why Hanami, or flower viewing, is such a popular traditional activity there. One of these days I’ll be there to see it for myself.

In the meantime, I’ll settle for what I have here locally. No picnic for me today, but there were a lot of people out enjoying the blossoms and taking photos—many more than I thought would be out on a workday. There was even a group of what looked like Japanese pre-school or kindergarten kids who were dressed just like in Japan, complete with the little yellow hats out sitting under the trees eating lunch (but I stupidly didn’t get their photo).

I’m once again also extremely pleased with how these photos turned out, taken with my iPhone (and cleaned up a bit in iPhoto). Click on them to view full-size.

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