The mascot is a beaver as at one time, the Park Service had problems with beaver coming up out of the basin and chopping down cherry trees. Wonder if they lied about it? Anyway, I purchased a little beaver at the Jefferson Memorial and used him in a few photos so when I do my book for my grandchildren, Places Grandma has Visited, he will be included.
Notice how the places where limbs have been removed still bloom. There are also metal tags nailed on the trees with numbers on them.
Also, this year, I noticed that visitors had tied red and white things to the tree, I assume as a tribute to Japan. They might be a memorial to the Japanese people after the earthquake and tsunami or this might be something that is done every year and I had not noticed them before. Notice how intricate this particular one was.
Below is my mascot and the signs asking visitors not to pick the blossoms. I did visit the basin again on Friday before leaving town and I saw a couple of ladies doing a flower arrangement with cherry blossoms. I snapped their photo and then here came a park ranger, asking about the blossoms and what they were doing. They told him that they were from the arboretum and the blossoms were ones they had brought with them for the arrangements. I left with them discussing it, but I don't think he liked them being there and encouraging the cutting of cherry blossoms.
Here are some of the pinker flowers near the Jefferson Memorial. The construction is occurring directly under the area in the photo above, but I cropped it out in this photo. You can barely see the top edge of the construction barrier.