Friday, April 14, 2023

Pink Flurries on Sunset Hill

4/11/23 Sunset Hill neighborhood

This is the side of the tree I drew in graphite
with enormous exposed roots.

I was afraid I had missed my chance to sketch the Sunset Hill cherries, my favorite stop on my annual petal-peeping tour. They were only at about 50 percent when I checked on them on April 1. It’s been raining more than not since then, and we also had some strong winds, too – all bad news for petal peeping and sketching. Tuesday was supposed to be more of the same, but sunshine surprised us in the afternoon. It might be our last hanami of the season, so we hopped in the car.

Fairyland was in full bloom, indeed. This one block is filled with majestic old cherries on both sides of the street, each unique and distinctive, yet I somehow find myself attracted to one particular tree often. Amid pink flurries, I sketched my favorite. It’s the one with enormous roots that I drew from a photo a couple of years ago in Kathleen Moore’s graphite class. I sketched it last year, too, from a different angle.

Although it’s impossible to beat the UW Quad for sheer quantity and spectacle, Sunset Hill will always be my favorite cherry stop. Many trees are probably nearly as old as the UW’s from the look of their trunks and roots, their petals are pinker, and the hanami crowd can be counted on one hand. I’m so happy that I didn’t miss seeing this quiet exclamation of joy.

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