Ginkgo biloba, known as ginkgo or gingko (both pronounced /ˈɡɪŋkoʊ/), also known as the ginkgo tree or the maidenhair tree, is the only living species in the division Ginkgophyta, all others being extinct. It is found in fossils dating back 270 million years. Native to China, the tree is widely cultivated and was introduced early to human history. It has various uses in traditional medicine and as a source of food. The genus name Ginkgo is regarded as a misspelling of the Japanese gin kyo, "silver apricot".
I have been fond of the Ginkgo tree since 4th grade (1947-48), having been introduced to it by our teacher, Ms Campbell, when she took us on a nature walk through Forest Hill Cemetery. As it happened, that cemetery is separated from the Kansas City MO block on which we lived (1946-55, for me - 1946-93, for my mother) by only a long, narrow park. Ms Campbell pointed out a beautiful, mature Ginkgo that was less than a two-block walk from our house. She told us about the tree and it stuck with me.
In 1977, I planted a small Ginkgo tree as a street tree in front of my little house in Wichita. Unfortunately, neighborhood kids had an inclination toward running over the poor little thing with their bicycles, but it survived for about 20 years. When we built this house (1999), I had them plant one Ginkgo and one sugar maple in our front yard. Over the years I've observed an interesting characteristic of the Ginkgo tree: in Autumn, it sheds the vast majority of its leaves, over-night! We awaken to a majestic, thick carpet of gold spread on the ground around that tree.
A couple of nights ago, the Ginkgo did its thing. This morning, I spent 30 minutes raking, which disposed of about 60% of the carpet. I could have finished the job, but didn't want to over-do it: it had been a few weeks since I last raked. I didn't think to take a "before raking" photo; but, below is the "after". The golden carpet had spread completely to the right of the front porch - being deeper on the right of the tree than on the left.
Thanks to Stu (of Eunoia) for posting a photo of the Super Moon from his perspective in Europe (he was at a railway station near his home in Germany.) He reminded me that Hunky Husband and I had photographed the moon from Kansas, about 5 miles from our home. From the house, we have a beautiful view of the moon on clear days/nights; but, we have trees in neighbors' yards that prevent our getting a clear view for at least 1.5 hours after the orb clears the horizon. HH invited me to go out to a OTC parking lot to view the rising. As it happened, there were trees, there, that prevented our viewing the unobstructed moon for the first 15 minutes. There was too little light for my camera to let me take a photo of the lace-effect that the trees lent the rising moon (I hadn't thought to set the camera to exposure priority before leaving the house and didn't wish to ruin our night vision by turning on a light in the car.)
We moved on up the road about a mile, pulled onto the shoulder of the road, and snapped a few photos. The first exposure is shown, below. The moon, by that time, had cleared the horizon by about 4 degrees.
My little point-and-shoot camera is a Nikon 1J1 with the 30-110 mm lens attached and zoomed out to about 80, I think. I didn't think to check the zoom at the time I took the photos. (What do you expect from one who takes photos through the windshield?) I did zero finagling of the image. It is just as I downloaded it from the camera.
Elder Brother, about whom I've blogged most recently in Tampa Bay Area, Florida and Good news/Bad news, paid us a visit over the weekend. As always, the whole Wichita gang was pleased to see him. Hunky Husband, in particular I think, enjoyed making fun of conversations between EB and me. For instance: HH came upstairs from his den just in time to hear EB say something about amines. Knowing that my understanding of chemistry is minimal, HH couldn't figure out how I had been led into such a discussion by EB (who started his professional career as a chemist). This triggered an explanation that might well be a chapter in my new book, "Oh, the Conversations You'll Have!"
The discussion followed this path:
Subject 1: I told EB about a comforter that our grandmother had made from her wedding clothes (photo, above) - circa 1908-1916 - which fell into my hands in about 1993 (see Grandmother Hall's comforter - plus a turkey photo). Because I had washed the comforter before storing it, I had caused the dark colors to bleed into the light and the (cotton) batting to clump between the ties (see photo for ties). Thus, eventually, I deconstructed the comforter and made two smaller quilts* from it, one each of which I gave to each of our daughters (Bogie, of Bogieblog, & Dudette). One of the quilts is shown in the photo, below, wherein you may observe that most of the dye bleed was removed by subsequent washing.
Subject 2: I told EB that I had conjectured that one of the fabrics used was rayon which I had been surprised to find (Google is wonderful!) indeed, had been available for clothing by the 1908-1916 time period. I had thought that rayon had come into use in the 1930s.
Subject 3: EB told me that I had probably been thinking of nylon which, indeed, came into use in the 1930s - which I full-well knew. From there, EB was off and running telling me about the structure of Nylon 6, 6.
Subject 4: EB rambled into a period in which his chemistry class in high school had used nylon hosiery for some experiment or the other - which led him into lecturing me on carbon chains and amines.
As you can see, there was nothing strange about the conversation EB and I were having when HH arrived on the scene. He just hadn't been present to hear the development!
*According to Buffy (of Arrrgh!!!) who led me into quilting, a covering is not a quilt unless it is quilted - that is - unless the layers of the covering are held together by stitching. A covering that is held together by tying is a comforter. (I hope Buffy will forgive me if I have it all wrong!)
Back in the late 1960s, Elegant Friend and I got together to paint in oils - copying whatever struck our fancy. That lasted long enough for each of us to complete one canvas. Eventually, my painting (copied from Franz Marc's Antilope) went to Bogie - who may or may not still have it. I don't recall the subject of EF's canvas. Fast forward about 50 years: Several months ago, EF and I started getting together to paint in acrylics. Each of us has completed several small canvases, none of which we would brag upon. Come to think of it, I didn't brag upon the antelope painting that I did - EF is the artist!
Unfortunately, last week, EF left our little town - moving up to Wichita to a "Senior Retirement Community". Moving from a house in which she had about 3000 square feet (main floor + nicely finished basement) to herself into a one-bedroom apartment (maybe 700 square feet?) EF had to rid herself of many belongings. Among the belongings for which she needed to find new homes were the first two paintings that EF had done. I pleaded with EF not to let them out of her family; but, she was convinced that no one in her family would care to have any of her work, so she gifted me with the second of the two paintings.
The painting, photo below, was painted at the request of EF's late mother-in-law. I am now the lucky owner. As I told her, unless someone from her family comes to take the work from me, I shall treasure that painting "forever"!
Endeavoring to enjoy myself while showing Elegant Friend the beauty of New Mexico, I embarked from home in Derby at about 7:30am (Central Daylight Time) on Friday, 10/14/2016, to pick up EF. About 10 hours later we checked into the Residence Inn Marriott - Albuquerque Airport. We spent four days and five nights, there, leaving on Wednesday, 10/19/2016 at about 6:30am (Mountain Daylight Time). We arrived home, last evening, at about 6:30pm (CDT) - weary, but having had a wonderful time. All told, we drove 1940 miles in 41 hours (actual driving time including twice when we sat for 10 minutes awaiting our turn to traverse construction along Highway 54), averaging 30.4 miles/gallon of gasoline. Forthwith, some photos. These (below) are photos that EF and I took using my camera.
Day 1, we prowled around my old neighborhood then, when it was late enough (10am), we went to prowl around Old Town Albuquerque. Unlike the forecasted weather, it was unbearably hot! EF took photos on her iPAD, of which I have none. We photographed my previous residence and the old church in Old Town.
Day 2, we drove to Santa Fe which, its being Sunday was crowded with throngs of tourists and their vehicles. We went by to see Elder Brother's former residence which, it turned out is now on the market. The house cannot be seen from the street (unpaved), but here's a photo of the entryway. EB lived in the Pygmy Forest, around the corner from the state's governor's house.
EF particularly liked the color of the Scottish Rite Center in Santa Fe.
Avoiding the throngs that clogged the square, we visited a museum featuring Spanish Colonial Arts. Somehow, I had misread the description on their website while planning our journey and thought it featured Spanish Colonial architecture. Instead, it was mostly religious stuff. EB enjoyed that more than I!
From Santa Fe we drove to Taos, visiting Harwood Museum of Arts. I've no photos from Taos, but lots of photos from our journey along the Rio Grande on our return journey to Santa Fe, along the highway to Albuquerque, and the stunning sunset in progress upon our arrival back at the Residence Inn.
Day 3, we drove down to San Antonio (NM) to the Bosque del Apache to do some birding. Absolutely, it is the wrong time of year to see anything, but we enjoyed being out in the wild. We didn't keep a listing, but I recall our seeing Great blue heron, Sandhill crane (one, lone!), See's phoebe, Lesser goldfinch (western), Northern harrier, Roadrunner, White-tailed kite (two each - previously known as White-shouldered kites - unusual for NM), Red-tailed hawk, Swainson's hawk, Baldpate (duck - not sure current name for it), and assorted lbbs (little brown birds). During the right times of year, there are tens of thousands of migratory birds.
Day 4, we went back to Old Town Albuquerque to browse through the Albuquerque Museum of Art & History and about 15 art galleries. Having time to spare, I took EF up to Sandia Crest. She took lots of photos up at the crest and I took one of her!
View to the north:
Views to the west:
The view to the east:
No matter how wonderful the trip, it is always good to come home. In my case, Hunky Husband always assures that he, the house, and the lawn are in tip-top shape for my arrival.
Joared of Along the Way and I have been trying to figure out how we can help one another with our respective water situations (see Water, Water, Maybe Gray Water Too). In a comment to the Water, Water posting, I told Joared that our little city now buys its water from Wichita, Kansas. Below, for Joared, I'm reproducing an exposition on a tack that Wichita is taking to smooth out the water supply peaks and valleys during drought and flooding conditions. I believe that Wichita is actively re-charging the equus beds this year. Although in recent history our normal annual precipitation amounts to about 29" or 30", we have received about 50" so far this year. [Correction from Hunky Husband, "For 2016 to date we have received 59.8" at our house."] In 2008, we received a total of about 50" or 55" of precipitation.
The below information comes from the United States Geological Society (USGS) website.
The water supply for the city of Wichita, south-central Kansas, currently comes from the Equus Beds aquifer and Cheney Reservoir. Because these sources are not expected to meet projected city water needs into the 21st century (Warren and others, 1995), artificial recharge of the Equus Beds aquifer was investigated as one alternative to meet future water-supply demands. An additional potential benefit of artificial recharge includes preventing degradation of the water quality of the aquifer by saltwater plumes from the Arkansas River to the southwest and the Burrton oil field to the northwest (Ziegler and others, 1999).
Phase I of the full-scale artificial recharge project began in 2007 and continued through 2012. For Phase I, the water pumped directly from the Little Arkansas River is treated to reduce sediment and remove atrazine before being recharged to the aquifer through recharge basins; water pumped from wells in the riverbank does not receive additional treatment before being recharged to the aquifer through recharge basins or wells (Debra Ary, city of Wichita, written commun., 2012). Phase II recharge facilities withdraw water from the Little Arkansas River and treat the water using ultrafiltration membranes and advanced oxidation techniques. The treated water can then be recharged into spreading basins or recharge wells throughout the area and stored in the aquifer for future use. Phase I has a design capacity of 10 Mgal/day. Phase II became operational in April 2013 and has a design capacity of 30 Mgal/day. Total construction costs for Phase I and II are about $247 million.
Map of Operations for Equus Beds Groundwater Recharge Project
Links to the City of Wichita Aquifer Storage and Recovery Program:
Kansas is not known for its fall color - mostly because, as is true in much of Colorado, most of Kansas has trees (where there are significant numbers) that produce yellow and brown leaves in the fall. Loving the color of sugar maples as I do, when we moved here, I had one planted in our front yard. It is starting to change into its fall colors.
Six days later (10/10/2016):
And, 10 days later, still (10/20/2016): I missed the full-color tree by being on travel!
As you well know, we've been subjected to six or seven "flash floods" this summer, among them a couple that were higher than we'd previously experienced on this property. FYI: Every cubic foot of ground within miles of us, is completely saturated from all of the rain that has so far graced us, this year - AND -we're expecting another flash flood later today. Flash flooding plus 2.5" to 5" hail plus 75 miles/hour winds is our forecast in which the weather people say they have high confidence! [Credit my own, personal weather guy (Hunky Husband) for getting the latest to me!]
Before we get inundated, again, and before my cleanup work gets undone, I thought I would brag about some of the progress I've made in the past several days.
The first two photos show the major/minor flotsam that was deposited at the boundary zone between our back lawn and the woods.
This photo (below) shows the boundary zone as it appears this morning - following my cleanup efforts.
Just within the woods is a rather clear space in which we buried our last two cats (graves marked by upright concrete monoliths). The next photo (below) shows that area before cleanup. The next photo shows that area following my cleanup efforts. Note that the log in the background of the second photo is just beyond our property line.
As a result of the various flash flood events, we were left with five major piles of flotsam in the boundary zone between the grassland on our property and the woods on our property. As of this morning, I have finished my cleanup efforts on the two piles nearest the house. Below are photos of the larger of the two. The first two photos (below) show the pile in early July and late September. It hadn't really changed a whole lot.
The photo, below is a view of the area that is into the woods from the pile in the above two photos. Originally, I had formed a brush pile in that area of which most had been swept away in the flooding. This is the area in which I "rebuilt" a brush pile from the flotsam in the large pile - plus from the area surrounding my brush pile.
This photo (below) shows a broadside view of the flotsam pile as it appeared in early July.
The last two photos (below) show the area of the flotsam pile as "cleaned up" to rebuild my brush pile, and the brush pile, itself.
To give you an idea of scale: the brush pile is at least two feet taller than my height (5' 5"). Fortunately, Archimedes and I are old pals, so I was able to move logs that weighed much more than my weight (classified info) and the lengths of which extended several times my previously mentioned height. I should tell you that Hunky Husband is more than willing to help; but, I take it as a challenge to avoid interrupting whatever he may be doing!
Herewith are a few more photos from our recent trip to New Hampshire, starting with the horse show on 9/5/2016. I failed to take my camera into the arena, so used HH's phone to take a couple of photos of him and Bogie (one of which was previously posted) and one of the arena before the show began. I didn't want to do anything distracting (to the horses or to me!) during the performance, itself.
On our way from St Louis to Kansas City, Missouri, we were treated to a gorgeous sunset. These photos don't do it justice, of course!