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As the Tidal Basin’s cherry blossoms are blocked this year, here are magnificent scenes from the past

Police have closed roads to the Tidal Basin to prevent crowds from gathering

Sunrise at the Tidal Basin with cherry blossoms at peak bloom on April 2, 2008. (Photos by Kevin Ambrose for The Washington Post)

District police have blocked roads to the Tidal Basin to prevent crowds from gathering to view the world-famous cherry blossoms in Washington. It’s an effort to enforce social distancing and stop the spread of the coronavirus. These are unprecedented times, even for blossom viewing.

Because I can’t visit the Tidal Basin this week to shoot photos, I decided to look back at my photos from past years to remember the splendor of the cherry blossoms. We’ve had some beautiful blooms over the years!

I’ve photographed cherry blossoms at the Tidal Basin every year since 2004, and I’ve included a few of my favorite shots from past years. The dates of the photos are included in the captions, so check out how some years have early-season blooms while other years have blooms that occur later.

Let’s hope next year returns to normal, and we can go back to the Tidal Basin and walk the trail, enjoying the blossoms in person.

If you’re itching to see the scene this year, you can, of course, watch the live stream on your screens, and the blossoms still appear to be in peak bloom. And, many neighborhoods around the city and greater region have cherry trees which can be enjoyed on your socially distant walk.