A late-season blast of snow and ice may have crimped this month's display of Tidal Basin cherry blossoms in my old stomping grounds of Washington, D.C.
But across much of central Mexico, residents and visitors are greeting spring under clouds of violet, trumpet-shaped jacaranda petals.
Natives of South America, jacaranda trees can reach nearly 100 feet and are eye-catching any time of year; one admirer described their sinuous branches as being reminiscent of lightning strikes or neural networks.
And for a few weeks in March and April, they create a glorious canopy of color.
Every Sunday morning, Mexico City shuts down several streets - including the Paseo de la Reforma - to car traffic. We visited in early March, just as the jacarandas were starting to bloom.
Afternoon shadows near our Airbnb in Puebla's Centro Histórico.
In Puebla's main square, towering displays of balloons threaten to upstage the annual jacaranda bloom.
A sprinkling of jacaranda blossoms (aka "purple snow") brightens a fountain across from our Puebla apartment.
One of the best places to celebrate jacaranda season is in our new hometown of San Miguel de Allende.
The view from the Hotel Palomar in San Miguel de Allende.
Many people are allergic to jacaranda blossoms. Luckily, I'm not one of them!