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Haiku Photos

Cherry Trees and Haiku: A Digital Haiku Hedge by Lesley Donaldson

Point Grey resident Lesley Donaldson is usually displaying haiku on her hedge during cherry blossom season, but this year is different. She writes:

“I can’t assemble my Haiku Hedge this year because of social distancing and no gathering rules. So instead I am organizing a digital Haiku Hedge.”

Since March 25, Lesley sends to her family and friends a daily e-mail featuring a photo of her cherry trees and a haiku written by herself or by haiku masters. Here are some photos and haiku shared by Lesley.

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Listen! Hear the voices

six feet apart –

between the blossomed trees

 

Lesley Donaldson

 

 

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In these latter-day

degenerate times,

cherry-blossoms everywhere!

 

Kobayashi Issa (1763 – 1828)

 

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Pale mountain sky:

cherry petals play

as they tumble earthward

 

Kusama Tokihiko (1920 – 2003)

 

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The light of a candle

Is transferred to another candle—

Spring twilight

 

Yosa Buson (1716 – 1784)

 

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Lesley, whose hedge has been  featured in the Georgia Straight, wrote about her beautiful Akebono cherry trees:

“I have four huge cherry trees planted over 30 years ago along the west side of my house. I live on a corner lot and I remember when I planted them my mother saying “people going places will say, ‘turn at the corner where the cherry trees are’”.  I liked that idea.”

She might have been wrong though –  I think people mainly notice my deep green yew hedge, 6 feet high that encloses my property.  It is clipped and maybe 200 ft long (…) and in the spring, when the pink blossoms fall from the cherry trees, it reminds me of sprinkles.”

At a time when the global order is in chaos (…) I find comfort in looking out of my windows at the giant cherry tree trunks “

 

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Lesley has been participating in the VCBF Haiku Invitational for many years, winning an honourable mention in 2008:

 

The carpet of blossoms—

my granddaughter in her pink dress

does a twirl

 

Lesley Donaldson (VCBF haiku invitational 2008 Adult Honourable Mention)

 

You too! You can share your love of cherry blossoms through haiku. Submit your poem to the VCBF haiku invitational.

Categories
Cherry Scouts Photos

Virtual Tour of Queen Elizabeth Park’s Most Popular Cherry Trees (Interactive Map)

This year, due to COVID-19 outbreak, please stay home and let us bring the blossoms to you.

Click on this interactive map to see the most popular cherry trees at Queen Elizabeth Park.

Map of cherry trees at Queen Elizabeth Park

Enjoy the Queen Elizabeth Park cherry trees online:

If you live in the area and will visit in person, please respect physical distancing.  Cherry scout Lisa L. wrote on the UBC Botanical Garden forum:

“Please beware that this year due to social distancing there is NO vehicular access to QE park from any of the entrances. All are barricaded. You must walk in and up to admire this tree, and please not a lot of people or the park rangers may shut it down. The rangers are patrolling and ensuring that all of us walkers are keeping our distance and not congregating. So please follow the directives and visit discreetly and quietly. NO PICNICS. we will have to wait till next year for that.”

Stay safe!

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Photos

Cherry Blossom Viewing Tip: Enjoy Cherry Trees in your Neighbourhood

Cherry blossom season has officially started in Vancouver. Akebono are now in full bloom, along with Pandora, Beni-shidare, Afterglow, and much more.

We understand it could be tempting to go to your favourite cherry blossom viewing spot. However, because of COVID-19 and the need to respect physical distancing and avoid gathering, it would be wise to consider, instead, enjoying a walk under cherry trees in your own neighbourhood.

With 40,000 cherry trees in the city, there’s plenty to see.

Here’s what I saw during a neighbourhood walk in Burnaby.

Akebono cherry trees at Cliff (corner Curtis):

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A small Beni-shidare that hasn’t been added to the VCBF map yet.

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Afterglow cherry trees at Cliff and Curtis.  The bright pink flowers are magnificent!

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There are 40,000 cherry trees planted in residential streets.  We’re so lucky to have access to these trees.

Have a look at the VCBF neigjbourhood maps to find trees near you.

Enjoy cherry trees in your neighbourhood. Stay safe and maintain physical distancing.

Categories
Photos Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival

Virtual visit of Akebono cherry trees at Burrard skytrain station (interactive map)

Our beautiful Akebono cherry trees are blooming at Burrard Skytrain station.

Since the Vancouver City issued an order to respect physical distancing due to COVID-19 (Coronavirus), we thought we’d offer you a safe way to do cherry blossom viewing. . .  online.

Click on this interactive map for a virtual visit of Akebono cherry trees outside Burrard Skytrain station.

Burrard skytrain map
All photos by Jessica Tremblay.

Burrard skytrain station is a truly special location for cherry blossom viewing in Vancouver.  There are thirty-four Akebono cherry trees outside the station: one tree at the front, then three rows of trees. Walking under the canopy is a true pleasure.

Akebono chery blossoms at Burrard skytrain
Akebono chery blossoms at Burrard skytrain (March 14 2020)

The Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival usually holds its festival launch — the popular Cherry Jam concert — at this location, but unfortunately we had to cancel this year because of Covid-19 (please read the VCBF COVID-19 Event Information).

If you go cherry blossom viewing, please be safe and maintain physical distancing.

 

Categories
Cherry Scouts Photos

Blooming Now: a visual timeline for cherry blossom viewing in Vancouver

This visual timeline features the estimated blooming period for ten of the most common cultivars of cherry trees in Vancouver: Whitcomb, Beni-Shidare, Accolade, Akebono, Umineko / Snow Goose,  Shirotae, Shirofugen, Kanzan, Kiku-shidare-zakura, Shogetsu.

Happy cherry blossom viewing!

(Click the image to expand the timeline)

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Timeline of Vancouver Cherry Blossoms blooming date for 2020. Photos by Jessica Tremblay, dates from https://www.vcbf.ca/neighbourhood-maps

 

Categories
Photos Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival

Pandora cherry blossoms

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The six Pandora trees behind Brentwood mall (at Fairlawn and Brentlawn) are 100% in bloom

One of the main characteristics of the Pandora is that the tip of the petals is slightly darker pink. However, as the flower progresses on the trees (and also once the flower is fallen) it’s hard to see this since the flowers turn white.

Most Pandora flowers fall WHOLE. You’ll find the grounds covered in flowers.

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Cherry Scouts Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival

Three ways to plan a cherry blossom walk: Do-it-yourself walks, Blooming Now, Neighbourhood Maps

Our cherry scout leader Wendy Cutler wrote that because of precautions regarding COVID-19, “all Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival 2020 community events that involve people getting together have been cancelled, and that includes the Tree Talks and Walks. This year, they will be Do-it-Yourself walks.”  You’ll be able to go on your own cherry blossom adventure guided by instructions and photos provided on our website.

If you want to experience cherry blossoms digitally, check out the Blooming Now page. All the photos come from public forum postings by our Cherry Scouts.  Wendy wrote, “We have had some stunning photos posted already – have a look at the threads at the top of that Neighbourhood Blogs forums page. Click the highest page number to see the recent postings.”

If you want to create your own cherry blossom viewing walk, Wendy suggests: “You can find the festival’s favourite locations on the Neighbourhood Map. The map opens with the favourites, defined as good photo-op locations.” They’re identified by red markers.

So, cherry blossom viewing is still happening in the city, just in a different format: either a do-it-yourself walk (taking care of maintaining social distancing) or a digital visit on our website or on social media.

 

 

Categories
Photos

Another beautiful day of cherry blossom viewing

After a first day of teleworking, I reward myself with one hour of cherry blossom viewing.

At this time, the instructions from the city of Vancouver regarding the control of COVID-19 say you’re allowed to go outside as long as you maintain social distancing and don’t congregate in groups.  This means no cherry blossom picnics, but  a quick walk by yourself in the neighbourhood is fine.

The Whitcomb cherry trees at Ayshire and Aubrey are fully bloomed. The flowers are beautiful. They’re buzzing with bees! Petals haven’t started to fall yet.

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This Accolade tree at Halifax and Kensington might be missing a branch or two, but the blossoms are splendid! Accolade are only about 20-30% bloomed in Burnaby, so you have another 7-10 days to visit.

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The Okame cherry tree at Charles and Fell might be slightly past its prime — lots of tiny petals on the ground, and most remaining blossoms have missing petals — but it’s such a rare tree that it’s worth a trip.  Visit within 5 days.

By the way, Okame have some of the smallest petals I’ve ever seen on the ground. So cute!

Tip: Visit in the morning or early afternoon. The sun set behind the house, which blocks the light. These pics were taken about 5 pm and there was only one ray of sunshine at the top of the canopy.

Also make sure to take a photo of the long calyx (the back of the flower), since that’s what this flower is famous for.

20200319_charlesfell_okame_tremblay_IMG_4494 20200319_charlesfell_okame_tremblay_IMG_4477 Okame cherry petals cover the sidewalk at Charles and Fell in Burnaby. 20200319_charlesfell_okame_tremblay_IMG_4491

I hope you’re taking care of yourself in these difficult times.If you are feeling stressed, go out and visit a cherry tree in your neighbourhood. (You can use the VCBF Neighbourhood map to find the trees blooming now in your area). And pleasee maintain social distancing.

Categories
Photos

Accolade Cherry Blossoms at 5th and Nootka

The news comes at noon.

“You can leave, now. You’re gonna work from home.”

“For how long?”

“We don’t know.”

Like many people, I’m sent home as the Province of British Columbia closes the schools and other businesses in an effort to curb the spread of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

The skytrain is nearly empty with only six people, sitting far from each other. A few wears surgical masks.

I make a quick visit to the Accolade cherry trees on 5th and Nootka. A last attempt at cherry blossom viewing before the city declares a state of emergency.

Unfortunately I’m too early. There are lots of buds, but only a few blossoms. The Accolade are not “ready”.

accolade cherry branch in front of a building accolade cherry branch in front of a building accolade cherry branch in front of a building accolade cherry trees with Burnaby skyline

What about me? Was I “ready” for what would come next? The long period of isolation, the frustration at not being able to go outside, empty grocery store shelves, the closures of libraries and movie theatres, the cancellation or concerts and festivals, and any gathering of more than 50 people…

Accolade cherry trees

How can anyone ever be ready for this?

We don’t have to be ready. We just have to accept it.

When I look closely, I do find some blossoms, which makes me feel better.

accolade cherry trees with Burnaby skyline  Accolade cherry blossoms

***

Before heading back, I take one last photo.  My camera whirs and shows me five different colourful versions of the same photo.  I accidentally set my camera to “Creative Shot” mode. The last photo is surreal.

This is the new reality. It might not be what you expect, but it’s what you get. You have to accept it. And, you know what, it’s not that bad.  Different, but not that bad.  We can get through this.

Accolade cherry tree

Categories
Cherry Scouts Photos

Accolade cherry blossoms in Vancouver (infographics)

infographics featuring Accolade cherry blossoms
Photo, text and infographics by Jessica Tremblay

Accolade cherry blossoms in Vancouver

Accolade is one of the first cherry trees to bloom in early March in Vancouver, Canada. It’s recognizable by its bright pink double flowers with up to twelve petals.

The most popular location to view Accolade cherry blossoms are

  • Chilco Park
  • Vancouver City Hall

Accolade cherry trees bloom in March and look great, especially against a blue sky, and will please photographers. Visit them in mid-March for peak bloom.