The real May abstract

ginkgo Ginkgo biloba leaves against sky
For reasons unknown, I had it in my head yesterday that we were in June, with only thirty days, and thus had to post the month-end abstract yesterday. After midnight, a glance down at the date/time bar on the computer screen reminded me of my error, which I was willing to let go until I spotted a better abstract while sorting images just now. The blog auditors will be wondering how we ended up with extra abstract images at the fiscal year end, but by then I plan to be long out of the country.

These are the leaves of a ginkgo tree, Ginkgo biloba, and there’s a bit of trivia regarding this species in that it is a living fossil. Which doesn’t actually make any senses – it’s a stupid phrase, really – but what is usually meant by it is that we have evidence of very similar species going way back in the fossil record with very little visible change, and this is the only example we have; nothing else shares its class, order, or genus, which is exceptionally rare in the plant or animal kingdoms. You can see the difference in the leaf structure, not branching like most leaves, but the veins all originating directly from the stem. I have a book on curiosities of evolution that features the ginkgo, and once I actually set aside time to read it (I have a shelf of books I’ve been trying to get to,) I may be back with some more details. For now, it’s here as visual appreciation. So appreciate it, dammit!

[next] »