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Posts Tagged ‘Boyce VA’

This past weekend I traveled with several photographers to the large grove of ginkgo trees (Ginkgo biloba) at Blandy Experimental Farm of the State Arboretum of Virginia in Boyce, VA. It was a beautiful autumn day and lots of other people also decided to check out the bright yellow foliage, which made it quite challenging to capture images that were not full of posing people. As the final photo shows, I too was posing for my own version of a selfie.

I have visited this grove of gingko trees several times over the last seven years and never fail to be amazed by the exotic beauty of the ginkgos. The grove, one of the largest outside of the trees’ native China, was established in 1929 when Dr. Orlando White decided to do an experiment. He hypothesized that the sex ratio of the 600 seeds that he planted from a single ginkgo tree would be 1:1. He did not live long enough to find out if he was right, but of the 301 trees that survived to maturity and for which gender could be determined, 157 were female and 144 were male.

For more information about the ginkgo grove, check out my blog posting from 2013 entitled “Journey to a ginkgo grove” or this brochure on the ginkgo grove put out by the Blandy Experimental Farm. In the brochure you can learn some cool things about ginkgo trees, including the amazing fact that the earliest ginkgo leaf fossils date from 270 million years ago.

 

ginkgo grove

 

 

gingko grove

gingko grove

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Do you still look at the clouds and see shapes as you did when you were a child? Sometimes the shadows and light and my imagination combine and cause me to see new things, like the leaves in this ginkgo tree that remind me of a flock of bright yellow butterflies.

Ginkgo trees are endlessly fascinating for me. Check out my earlier posting to see additional photos of my journey to a ginkgo grove a few weeks ago, including some close-up shots of ginkgo leaves and the fleshy seeds produced by the female ginkgo trees.

ginkgo_butterflies_blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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If you germinated 600 seeds from a single ginkgo tree, how many would grow up to be male trees and how many female? Some of you may have come up with an answer already, but I am still struggling with the question. Can trees really have a gender? Apparently ginkgo trees, like holly, persimmon, and some others have a gender. Who knew?

In 1929, Dr. Orlando White at the Blandy Experimental Grove of the State Arboretum of Virginia in Boyce, Virginia decided to do an experiment and hypothesized that the sex ratio would be 1:1. Dr. White’s intellectual curiosity resulted in the Blandy Ginkgo Grove that I visited last weekend, one of the largest collections of gingkos outside of the tree’s native China. You can learn more fascinating information about ginkgos and about this grove by downloading this brochure, my source for the historical information about the grove.

I was struck by the beauty of the ginkgo leaves. Fossils of these leaves date back to 270 million years ago, meaning this plant was around with the dinosaurs. A ginkgo, which means “silver apricot” in Chinese, doesn’t form fruits, but has fleshy seeds about the size and appearance of a small apricot, seeds that you can see in some of my photos. I should warn you, though, that ginkgo seeds do not smell as nice as apricots—they smell like a cross between vomit and dog excrement.

I am including a variety of shots to give you an idea of the beauty of the ginkgo, ranging from a view of part of the entire grove down to an image of a single leaf.  I have never used the gallery feature with WordPress, but decided to put the photos I selected for this posting into a gallery and see how it works out. Let me know if you have any thoughts about whether you like this approach, vice using single photos.

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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This past weekend I traveled with some friends to photograph a large grove of ginkgo trees at the Blandy Experimental Farm of the State Arboretum of Virginia in Boyce, VA. It was a beautiful day, with bright blue skies, and I took some shots that I will probably include in a more extended post, but I wanted to give you a sneak preview of the really-cooling looking leaves of the ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) tree, a tree that dates back at least 270 million years, judging from ginkgo leaf fossils that have been uncovered.

GInkgo Vertical blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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