A break in the parade of people shortly after sunrise on April 12 (right) contrasts with a cold scene on March 17 (left). (Ian Livingston)

The Washington area saw plenty of late-season snow this year, with multiple snowstorms in March.  During the St. Patrick’s Day snowstorm on March 17, we met to shoot snow scenes of Washington and the idea dawned on us that we could get some neat comparisons to the upcoming cherry blossom bloom.

Our goal was to take photos of the snow and cherry blossoms from the same locations around the Tidal Basin.

During the morning of March 17, we walked around the snowy Tidal Basin framing and shooting the bare cherry trees and various landmarks as if we were shooting the scene with cherry blossoms in peak bloom.

The contrast of winter and spring weather is quite evident with these two photos of the same cherry tree taken on March 17 (left) and April 12 (right).   (Kevin Ambrose)

During our photo shoot, we were interviewed by an ABC7 news crew and we described our plan to do photo comparisons with the snow and blossoms. Our CWG snow post ran the following day.  (Note:  If you watch the interview from March 17, we predicted we’d be back on April 12 to shoot the blossoms.  We nailed the day but didn’t realize it until re-watching the interview after the blossom photo shoot.)

Related: Cherry blossoms 2014: Before and after

After the St Patrick’s Day snowstorm, almost a month passed before the cherry blossoms reached peak bloom. The late-season snow and cold did not harm the blossoms and the bloom was spectacular.

We returned to the Tidal Basin on April 12 at separate times to recreate our snow photos with the cherry blossoms in full bloom.

An iconic D.C. scene transformed in just a few short weeks. March 17 left, April 12 right. (Ian Livingston)

There are no footprints in the snow along the Tidal Basin after a snowstorm on March 17 (left), and the bustling activity along the Tidal Basin with the cherry blossoms at peak bloom on April 12 (right).  (Kevin Ambrose)

Finding the exact location of our snow photos and getting quality photos of the cherry blossoms was a lot trickier than expected. The scene looked entirely different with trees that were fully loaded with blossoms and there were also thousands of people crowding the Tidal Basin and blocking the view.

With a little effort, however, we found our target photo locations and we recreated many of our snow photos with blossoms. The comparisons can be viewed larger by clicking them.

It’s amazing what a difference 26 days can make!

Another lonely bench on March 17, there were not any free ones on April 12. (Ian Livingston)

The same tree with two very different looks.  (Kevin Ambrose)

Finding anyone out was tough on March 17. No problem at all on April 12. (Ian Livingston)

These are the Tidal Basin paddle boats with and without snow.  Only the gulls were active in the snow on March 17 (left) in contrast to a crowd of people occupying the steps of the Jefferson Memorial on April 12 (right).  (Kevin Ambrose)

From cold and snowy to warm and inviting. (Ian Livingston)

Related: Fall foliage gives blossom bloom a run for its money at the Tidal Basin

A lonely view of the Jefferson Memorial through the branches of a cherry tree on March 17 (right) and the same view on April 12 (right) with a crowd.  (Kevin Ambrose)

A quiet path and a not so quiet path. (Ian Livingston)

A snow panorama of the Tidal Basin and a cherry blossom panorama of the Tidal Basin from March 17 (top) and April 12 (bottom).  (Kevin Ambrose)
A contrast of seasons. (Kevin Ambrose)
A contrast of seasons.  (Kevin Ambrose)

Kevin Ambrose lines up a shot of the cherry blossoms using a snow photo that was taken on March 17.  (Michael Ambrose)

Related content:

New! Strollaround.com – Guided tour of the blossoms

DC blooms: Where to find cherry blossoms in your neighborhood.

2013 and 2014 cherry blossom coverage

Ten days of cherry blossoms (PHOTOS, 2012)
Cherry blossoms bursting out (PHOTOS, 2012)
Cherry blossoms with an overcast sky (PHOTOS, 2011)
Washington’s cherry blossoms in the snow (PHOTOS, 2011)
A cherry blossom bird’s-eye view (PHOTOS, 2010)
Cherry Blossoms Wind Down as D.C. Greens Up (PHOTOS, 2009)
Cherry Blossom Morning (PHOTOS 2009)
Washington D.C.’s Cherry Blossom Bloom Begins (PHOTOS, 2009)
Photography: Falling Blossoms & Spring Scenes, Kevin Ambrose (2008)
Photography: A Blooming Good Time (2008)
Photography: Glorious Cherry Blossom Sunrise (2008)
Photography: Cherry Blossoms by Night (2008)
Photography: Flying High as Spring Blossoms (2008)