A patchwork of seasonal photos are integrated into a composite view of the Tidal Basin representing 2017. In this photo collage, there are three parts autumn, two parts of winter, one part spring and one part summer. The photos were taken on March 14, March 25, July 29 and Nov. 9. (Kevin Ambrose)

The cherry blossoms of spring steal the show every year, but all four seasons present unique beauty and appeal at the Tidal Basin. This post showcases seasonal views at the Tidal Basin photographed in each of 2017’s four seasons, with some side-by-side seasonal comparisons.

Here are the dates of my photos in this series:

Winter — March 14, 2017
Spring — March 25, 2017
Summer — July 29, 2017
Fall — Nov. 9, 2017


The four seasons of 2017 are displayed above. The photos were taken March 14, March 25, July 29 and Nov. 9.  (Kevin Ambrose)

What was particularly interesting this year was that my winter shoot and my spring shoot were ridiculously close together — March 14 and March 25.  I actually had to wait until mid-March to photograph D.C.’s biggest (and only) winter storm of the season, and it really wasn’t that big.

Hard freezes followed the March snow and ice storm, however, and 50 percent of the cherry blossoms were killed.  The blossoms that survived the freeze reached peak bloom March 25, only 11 days after the winter storm.  The peak bloom was not spectacular, but it was still quite good considering the freeze damage.


Summer meets fall in this Tidal Basin composite image shot July 29 and Nov. 9. (Kevin Ambrose)

A rare summer nor’easter occurred July 29 which provided wet and windy conditions for my summer photo shoot.  Leading up to that date, there was ample rainfall to provide a thick, green canopy of leaves at the Tidal Basin.  During my summer shoot, puddles were numerous and a cool, northeast wind with spits of rain made the conditions rather pleasant for late July.

During late summer and early fall, however, the weather turned warm and dry, which both diminished and delayed the fall color at the Tidal Basin.  But color did appear in the trees by early November.

On Nov. 9, many cherry trees at the Tidal Basin were starting to show good color, but many other cherry trees still had green leaves.  The fall color at the basin this year was quite inconsistent and remarkably staggered, much like the cherry blossom bloom in the spring.


The four seasons of 2017 photographed at the Tidal Basin with the same cherry tree and view of the Jefferson Memorial. (Kevin Ambrose)

Record cold immediately followed my Nov 9. photo shoot with a hard freeze, and the leaves that remain on the trees at the Tidal Basin surely won’t last long.  It’s been a tough year for the trees.

I wonder when we’ll have our first winter storm to shoot in D.C.?  Hopefully, before March 14.  And no more cherry blossom freezes, please!

Let me know if you have ideas for seasonal comparison views for 2018.


Winter and summer meet in this composite image of a Tidal Basin park bench.  The photos were taken March 14 and July 29.  (Kevin Ambrose)

Comparing Tidal Basin trail scenes photographed during each of the four seasons of 2017. (Kevin Ambrose)

Spring and summer form this composite arch of blossoms and summer foliage photographed March 25 and July 29. (Kevin Ambrose)

This sad, little cherry tree near the Jefferson Memorial survived through the changing seasons of 2017. (Kevin Ambrose)

The same view of cherry trees and the Jefferson Memorial was photographed March 14, July 29 and Nov. 9, 2017.  (Kevin Ambrose)

Heavy sleet falls during the morning of March 14, 2017. (Kevin Ambrose)

Cherry blossoms that survived the hard freezes of mid-March reached peaked bloom March 25, 2017. (Kevin Ambrose)

A summer view at the Tidal Basin, July 29, 2017. (Kevin Ambrose)

Colorful fall foliage frames the Jefferson Memorial, Nov. 9, 2017. (Kevin Ambrose)

Ducks on the Tidal Basin, Nov. 9, 2017.  (Kevin Ambrose)

Geese near the Jefferson Memorial, July 29, 2017. (Kevin Ambrose)

Ice formed on the cherry blossoms during the nor’easter of March 14, 2017. (Kevin Ambrose)

A beautiful peak bloom stroll, March 25, 2017. (Kevin Ambrose)

Riding bikes under colorful fall foliage, Nov. 9, 2017. (Kevin Ambrose)

I wasn’t the only one crazy enough to wake up before sunrise to photograph the snow, sleet and ice March 14, 2017. (Kevin Ambrose)

The usual crowd of cherry blossom tourists enjoy peak bloom with beautiful, mild weather, March 25, 2017. (Kevin Ambrose)

A summer scene at the Tidal Basin, July 29, 2017. (Kevin Ambrose)

Bright, red foliage against a cloudy, autumn sky, Nov. 9, 2017.  (Kevin Ambrose)

Related:

Cherry blossoms steal the show but all four seasons are uniquely beautiful

The singular beauty of the Tidal Basin in all four season

Delayed fall foliage: What a difference a year makes

Comparing the seasons at the Tidal Basin