2 min

Damp and dreary form a well-known verbal and meteorological partnership. But although Friday in Washington seemed definitely damp, its daytime dreariness seemed curtailed by its quota of cherry blossoms and other early spring sights.

On our first Friday in spring, low clouds often covered the sky and brought rain.

But in places on the ground, turning a corner brought confrontation with the astonishing whiteness of the blossoms. Even under gray skies, they suggested the silver shimmer of bright light.

Mainly, the rain arrived in modest increments. It fell as small, slowly descending droplets that enhanced the March landscape with a sense of the uses of moisture in the ultimate flowering of spring.

At 8 p.m., the rain measured a little more than a third of an inch, no great deal, but the most on any day this dry month. It almost seemed like the essence of early spring, nurturing a landscape yet to don its green garb but on the very verge of doing so.

Through the hours of daytime overcast, even if no rain could actually be felt, the breeze seemed to carry a sense of proximity to the low-hanging clouds. Mild and moderate, temperatures in the low 50s and the high 40s supplemented the sense of early springtime, its glories about to awaken.

In many places, a pale green haze in the distance, where leaves seemed to sprout and bud by the hour, enhanced a sense of seeing nature at work.

Friday here seemed to be a time and place where spring was about to come into its own, about to transform the bristling bare branches of one season into the exuberant greenery of another.