Cherry Blossoms

In the nearly 10 years I have been back in the Northern Virginia area, it's hard to believe that I have only made it down to see the Cherry Blossoms once!  Truth is, as a kid, my family and I went to the Cherry Blossom Festival every year we lived in the DC Metro area, and as beautiful as they are, the crowds during the festival can be a bit overwhelming.   Last year, David and I decided to get up at 3:00 am (!!!) in order to be at the Cherry Blossoms early enough to find a spot and catch sunrise.  When we first started walking around the basin, I remember thinking to myself "This isn't too bad, there are not a lot of folks..." but the further we walked, the more dense the packs of photographers got.  At one point I remember just laughing - I'm not sure I have ever seen so many photographers in one place.  Putting up with the crowds paid off, David and I came away with some wonderful shots and at that point we vowed to come back again next year.  Well, it's been a year and needless to say we decided NOT to head in to DC this year and simply take in the beauty of our neighbor's Cherry Blossom tree, oh yeah and the Groundhog that came to take in the beauty of our neighbor's tree as well.  We've named him Turbo.

Turbo kept us entertained running back and forth between the bushes in our neighbor's yard, the Cherry Blossom tree, and a storm drain in the ditch behind our homes.  I was shocked at how fast this stocky critter was!

Turbo kept us entertained running back and forth between the bushes in our neighbor's yard, the Cherry Blossom tree, and a storm drain in the ditch behind our homes.  I was shocked at how fast this stocky critter was!

Once at the storm drain, Turbo would jump in, pop his head up, jump back out and run back to the tree or bushes.

Once at the storm drain, Turbo would jump in, pop his head up, jump back out and run back to the tree or bushes.

Apparently, Cherry Blossoms are not only beautiful, but also delicious.

Apparently, Cherry Blossoms are not only beautiful, but also delicious.

Seeing a groundhog in our neighborhood is definitely a first for us.  My husband spotted Turbo as we were getting dinner made.  Needless to say, dinner was delayed as we grabbed our cameras and did our best to stay quiet and hidden from this guy.

Seeing a groundhog in our neighborhood is definitely a first for us.  My husband spotted Turbo as we were getting dinner made.  Needless to say, dinner was delayed as we grabbed our cameras and did our best to stay quiet and hidden from this guy.

I was excited to see Turbo back visiting Monday evening.  I realize that Groundhogs generally are viewed as pests due to their burrowing, but I can't help but love our new visitor.  It's wonderful living in a place where we can see wildlife from our own deck.

I was excited to see Turbo back visiting Monday evening.  I realize that Groundhogs generally are viewed as pests due to their burrowing, but I can't help but love our new visitor.  It's wonderful living in a place where we can see wildlife from our own deck.