I would say that this is our own private Cherry Blossom Festival, but it really gets a crowd. These two old trees are at the edge of the main roadway through town, so several people driving by stop to take pictures. They may not seem to be very impressive compared to healthier flowering cherry trees, but they are what we have, and we are happy to get the bloom.
Decades ago, fruiting cherries were some of the more common orchard trees in the Santa Clara Valley. Flowering cherries were only somewhat popular in home gardens, and might have been less popular without the Japanese influence. They are more popular in cooler climates, not only because they are happier in cooler climates, but also because those who live where winters are harsh have a better appreciation for bloom that so happily celebrates the end of winter.
These particular trees are unfortunately deteriorating. They are quite old, and the trunks and main limbs rot and die back a bit more each year. No one wants to cut them down because they are such a familiar landmark this time of year. Few people can remember when the trees were not there.
We are grateful for the bloom this year because the weather could have easily ruined it. It was so warm earlier in winter that bloom could have very easily been accelerated, and happened just as frosty or rainy weather resumed. The trees seemed to know what time of year it was, and waited for the right time. It did happen to rain just prior to when these pictures were taken, but the blossoms had just opened, so were resilient to the rain. Weather should be milder for the next few days, until these trees are finished with their bloom.