Friday, October 15, 2010

Leaf Collection

I have long been an admirer of the Ginkgo biloba [i.e., bi-lobed], this unique species of tree with no living relatives and leaves like no other. Way back in the Spring of 1972, I pasted ginkgo leaves (found on the Lindenwood campus in St. Charles, Missouri) into the pages of my 9th grade leaf collection.

a page from my scrapbook
38 - year - old ginkgo leaf

page from Goethe's scrapbook
195 - year - old ginkgo leaf

The great Goethe also admired the ginkgo, and preserved yet today in the Goethe Museum in Düsseldorf are the above leaves that he himself dried and attached to his love poem "Ginkgo biloba" in 1815. Of the unusual bi - lobed leaves, Goethe has written:

This leaf from a tree in the East . . .

Does it represent One living creature
Which has divided itself?
Or are these Two, which have decided,
That they should be as One?

Wolfgang Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 - 1832)
Prolific German writer, poet, scientist, botanist, and philosopher

Archived posts for further reading:
29 November 2009: Ginkgo Biloba
3 December 2009: Willow and Ginkgo


Thursday, October 14th
"Capturing the Ginkgo Light" (Eleanor Estes, Eve Merriam, Leonard Orr, Arthur Sze)

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