Sunday, March 30, 2014

The Land Of Pink And Fluffy

It's cherry blossom season at the University of Washington, so you know what that means.

Yep. At least a hundred new photos on my camera roll and lunch at the nearby Chipotle. Who am I to tamper with tradition?

Thankfully, I've done a bit of editing and present you only with the best of the best in this year's version of UDub: The Land of Pink and Fluffy.

^ Here's the money shot of this gorgeous place. I'm standing atop the stairs at the north end of the quad, which are typically jammed with people selfie-ing or group-posing their hearts out against this magnificent backdrop. The view, even on an overcast and annoyingly cold day such as today, is just ridiculously beautiful.

^ Almost as fascinating as the blushing blossoms are the vast numbers of camera-toting tourists. Yes, this is an active college campus but see all those folk out there? Definitely not students. These five blokes in the foreground were the only possible co-eds that I observed all day, though in my opinion, they didn't looks nearly hungry enough to be college students.

^ The quad is surrounded on all four of its rectangular sides by soaring buildings in the typical Gothic styling so common on American college campuses. I'm not a fan of their fussy forms or ornate details but I love the way the pointy bits of the roof lines mimic the triangular tips of the tall evergreens trees, and the natural rosy stone of the buildings echoes the delicate pink of the blossoms.

^ The craggy, crackled bark and curvy black branches provide perfect contrast to the softly billowing blossoms. 

^ And the carpet of pink below is precious beyond words. Looks like a pack of flower girls went wild.

^ The multicultural mash-up of the many admirers is proof that the American melting pot is on full boil. I suspect that most of the guests wandering among the grove are graduates from this fine university. In any case, skin colors ranged from Casper to Mace Windu, traditional clothing rivaled a United Nations fashion show, and a cacophony of foreign tongues filled the air. But no one seemed to notice or care. We were united in our love of cherry blossoms and our mad desire to capture them in photos. 

^ Asians were well represented in the mix, as they are in the UW student body, and it appears that these once-industrious students are now hard at work populating the next generation. There were chubby cheeked Asian toddlers running everywhere and I could hardly resist the temptation to hug each one.

^ But enough about the curious onlookers. Let's get back to those trees. 

 ^ I got all excited when I saw these puddles, and managed to work out the shot so the reflection of this nearby specimen is pieced together across the water.

 ^ I also discovered this sweet little heart, left over from someone else's Instagram moment, and captured it for myself.

^ The atmospheric conditions were not exactly perfect for a cheerful day, but the light from the flat, overcast skies created some interesting photographs. As I walked around the rectangle of trees and shot from different angles, I was fascinated to see how the intensity of the petals' color shifted and changed.

^ My second-born and proud UW alumnus took her share of photos too. Good thing we were not charged by the frame.

^ And I ended my happy tour on these no-nonsense brick steps with a sprinkling of rosy blossoms still adorning my boots. Come home with me, sweet pink fluffy petals, and live in my life forever!

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For more stories about late winter and early spring, try these:

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