Friday, November 21, 2008

Ginkgo Fan

Yes, you could say I'm a ginkgo fan.

I never really noticed their elegant, fan-shaped leaves until I worked in Towson some years ago on a three-month contract. It was fall, and Pennsylvania Avenue in greater downtown Towson is graced with quite a few ginkgo trees. Even then, I didn't notice the leaves until they started to turn color and fall.

The ginkgo tree, Ginkgo biloba, is itself quite intersting. Among plants, it is sui generis, being the only species in the genus Ginkgo, which is the only member of the family Ginkgoaceae, in turn the only family in the order Ginkgoaceae, itself the only member of the class Ginkgoopsida, which is, you guessed it, the only member of the phylum Ginkgophyta.

Even among trees, ginkgos are especially long-lived and have been around longer than any other species - over 200 million years.

For this photo, I made use of a photographic axiom I learned years ago:

"Get close... then get closer."
The macro mode of my digicam (Canon A620) let me "get closer," and some nice late-afternoon sidelighting contributed to make a dramatic image.

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