One of the many places in the Washington D.C. area that I have never visited in the decades that I have lived in the area is the National Arboretum in Northeast Washington D.C. I don’t really have a reason why I have never set foot on this place. I enjoy leisurely walks. I enjoy taking pictures of flowers and gardens. I enjoy taking pictures of birds. Apparently, the Arboretum has no shortage of the things that make for a great day outdoors but somehow, I never stepped inside its grounds. That oversight was corrected, somewhat, by a short trip to the National Arboretum in mid February.
Yes, it was winter. There were few birds flying about. The flowers are still weeks from coming out. The gardens were in a state of hiatus. Still, the landmark that many people come to see in the Arboretum are the Capitol Columns. These columns used to be part of the Capitol Building. When the Capitol was renovated, the columns were replaced by new, improved, more ornate cylindrical blocks. What to do with the old columns? Well, why not put them in a garden? And so, eventually, the columns made their way to the National Arboretum.
It was a relatively mild winter afternoon. The recent rains filled the reflecting pool with water and made for even more interesting photographs. People were enjoying themselves in the warmth of the February sun. A beautiful afternoon that surely will not be the last spent visiting this wonderful place.
Late at night, one of the most photographed places on the planet.
With most of the United States in deep freeze, why not venture out on the first day of the year and feel that cold, crisp air? Why not. Unfortunately, my favorite museum was closed for the day.
Still, a little cold weather did not deter this man, nor did the weather deter his drinking companions.
But on this cold January day, the first day of the year, the afternoon light made this short trip to the Mall worthwhile.
This is one of the most interesting architectural landmarks in a city full of architectural landmarks. The East Building of the National Gallery of Art was designed by I.M. Pei and first opened to the public in 1978. In the second decade of the twenty first century, the museum underwent renovations and reopened to the public in 2016. The museum is home to the larges Calder mobile in the world. It a building awash in light and open spaces. Walk up and down staircases of marble. Take a seat by the trees in the sun atrium. Go to the roof, where you can take in a beautiful view of Pennsylvania Avenue and the Capitol and take a selfie with a giant blue rooster. And did I mention the Picassos, the Rothkos, the Dali by the elevator? A truly magnificent place to visit and explore. And photograph.