Cherry Blossoms commemorated with local woman's book

(Photo: WJLA)

The centennial celebration of the National Cherry Blossom Festival is now underway and millions of visitors will descend on D.C. in the next five weeks.

The official book of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, appropriately called Cherry Blossoms, is now being revealed. Its author, Ann McClellan, is thrilled.

“I am so excited about this book. It's really a joy, just the way the tress blooming every year is a joy and a thrill this book just captures that for me,” McClellan said.

McClellan weaves together stories of the history of the gift of the trees from Japan in 1912.

“Doing the book made me realize what visionaries the people were in 1912 the people who had the idea,” McClellan said.

The book covers the different varieties of trees you can find throughout the capital city—and all of the activities associated with the National Cherry Blossom Festival.

McClellan grew up near an arboretum, and has always loved nature and in particular, trees. She worked at the Smithsonian and the World Wildlife Federation and took trips to see the cherry blossoms in Japan.

When this local author got the chance to combine her loves for trees and writing, it was a match in peak bloom.

“When the opportunity came it was such a, pardon the pun, natural, I couldn't resist,” she said.

The book is the second for McClellan. The Cherry Blossoms book is published by National Geographic and features dozens of photos by Ron Blunt.

“The cherry blossoms to me are just the most beautiful trees. I think the fact that they bloom on bare branches, it's almost trite to say but really, it's magical,” she said.