The March lamb arrived in Washington yesterday. Eighty degrees. Frisbees in the air, joggers on the streets, new love blooming like cherry trees.

Spring was in the breeze, and all seemed right with the world.

Hundreds gathered on and around the Mall, lounging on blankets, their faces flushed with a first blush of tan doing nothing in particular. Like Robert Kidwell, 20. He was, he said, "just sitting here. I don't know what I'm thinking."

Henriette Lund and Laura Clerici were also just hanging out, taking a break before their scheduled performance with the Saint Matthew's Cathedral Choir. The two altos, said Clerici, were "just enjoying. It's one of those really nice days of the year."

Others said they felt newly motivated, compelled to drag the extra pounds of their ample winter girths into the outdoors to swat a few softballs or fly a kite. Often, it ended, like it did for Samuel Goldstein, with a tree and a penknife.

"I been flying kites all my life," said the 25-year-old real estate agent, shaking his head and holding his homemade, red and green, "Demon Dragon" Kite. "And I still always get the damn string caught in what ever tree or power line is standing within 300 yards of me."

Connecticut Avenue was jammed with cars carrying people to the National Zoo. They came in droves yesterday -- police there recorded 3,500 visitors, equal to last year's Easter Monday -- for a stroll among the nation's showcase of exotic fauna and to see, no doubt, if the famed pandas had been struck with any sort of spring fever of their own.

The National Weather Service said today's temperatures will be similar to yesterday's, with highs of 70 to 75 and winds gusting between 15 and 25 miles an hour. However, today is expected to be a wet one, with a 70 percent chance of rain.

Yesterday's high of 80 was 12 degrees below the record high of 92 set in 1907.