Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The Gingkoes Golden Glory

On a whim I took Friday off work as I'm so fed up with the place and really needed a break. The blustery winds were still hanging around, tugging and yanking the leaves from the trees, so I headed with Janice over to Blandy hoping to catch the ginkgo trees in their golden splendor. The sun was brightly shining and as I drove along the country lanes I noticed how the autumnal leaves shone brilliantly in the midday sun. But as I approached the arboretum, grey clouds swept across the sky, shutting out the sunlight like a window blind.
There were only a few people at the glade when I arrived so I grabbed my camera and set to work, not letting the lack of sunlight darken my mood. Even in the dull light, the ginkgoes still shone, bathing the whole area in gold. They had passed their peak, thanks to the gales, but there were still many defiant leaves hanging fiercely on to the branches while below me a thin blanket of leaves looked as though someone had tossed gold coins upon the ground.
I really wanted to lay down on the ground to capture a different perspective but the odoriferous berries on the ground prevented that. They had a heavy, musky sweet smell, not particularly fragrant. Janice likened it to something that dogs leave behind but I didn't think it assailed my nostrils that viciously. Yet I still didn't want to be on a one-to-one, in-my-face relationship with them so I stayed upright. They were also very squishy.
Ginkgo is regarded as a herb, the leaves used mainly for memory disorders, including Alzheimer's, as well as many conditions resulting in a lessened blood flow to the brain, such a vertigo, hearing disorders and even Lyme disease and depression. It has many other uses, since the tree has been around for so long, it's one of the oldest tree species in the world. The seeds are roasted and regarded as a delicacy in Japan and China, and there is actually an old Japanese lady who has been given permission to come here and collect many of the seeds.
We only had a couple of very shorts bursts of sunlight while we were there, and rushed to snap an image while the leaves briefly shimmered.
We walked the trails around Blandy, enjoying the magnificent hues of the maple trees, the osage oranges were still clinging to bare branches and a group of 3 ginkgos briefly gleamed as once more the sun let loose just a few seconds of bright beams before ducking behind the clouds again.
We decided to drive to Long Branch to see the maple trees there, and of course, the sun played games with us again, bathing the trees in light that caused them to shine like burnished metal as we approached, but dimming as soon as we stepped out from our cars.
We resolutely took some more photos despite that the colors looking a little dull through our lens, and then decided to pack our cameras away. The wind was getting stronger and the temperatures were dropping. We could see that the sun had also given up on its games for the day and was plummeting fast behind the skyline. But the day was not completely finished for us, it was time to head to Nana's for some fine food and beer, accompanied by equally fine friends and music.It had been a grand vacation day.

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