Sunday, November 13, 2011

Short Burst: Golden Ginkgoes

Glowing Ginkgoes
The ginkgoes of New York have turned to gold -- right on schedule despite the freak snow storm that painted the city white at the end of October.  

Ginkgoes have been around for 7 million years -- surviving the ice age and more recently the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima.  Legend has it that Buddhist monks in China saved them from extinction and that ginkgoes were a favorite tree of Frank Lloyd Wright.   There are those who hate the smell of the female ginkgo (yes, there are male and female ginkgoes) -- it emanates from the seed shells and has caused some cities to eradicate  their ginkgo trees or spray the trees as Washington, DC did this past spring in order to reduce the odor.

It's sad to think that we've chopped down trees because we don't like the way they smell.  That stands in stark contrast to those monks who nourished and planted the species in their gardens.  Says something about our disposable culture.  

Fall is a magical time of year in New York -- a city that takes its street trees and plantings seriously (the last street tree census reported almost 593,000 trees across the city) and there are several beautiful ginkgoes on my street that add to that count.  Those are easy to spot.  Its finding a burst of golden yellow among the glorious colors in Central Park that is a bit more of a challenge.  The hunt is worth it though.  Depending on the light, the leaves can take on an orange hue against the deep blue of the sky or a pale yellow against the reds and oranges of neighboring trees.  

A few (or more) of my favorite tree during one of my favorite times of year......

Gingko Leaves in Reverse

A Favorite Ginkgo Tree

Deep Yellow Gingko

Yellow and Blue

Casccade


Leaves on the Cusp of turning

Yellow Creeping

Black & White Gingko

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