Ep.2 Nature put to Words

Written by on November 1, 2021

Tree of the week: Ginkgo tree (Ginkgo biloba)

-Simple, fanlike leaf. More sturdy than it looks. Super colorful in the fall. Biloba, two lobes referencing the leaves. 

-Diecious, one tree is male, one tree is female as opposed to other flowering trees.

-Female seed/fruit of the ginkgo smells like vomit when it’s decaying. Significant in Chinese culture as a soup.

-No known relative of the ginkgo 

-Native to China, extinct in the wild but widely planted

-First fossil record 260 million years ago. A single tree can live up to 3000 trees. Fossils are found everywhere. North America, Europe, etc. From Before the dinosaurs. Survived MULTIPLE extinction events.

-Most Conifers are gymnosperm, pollen lands directly on seed without needing to dig through another layer of tissue. Broadleaf trees are often angiosperms, they flower, and then the seed is inside an ovary, usually a fruit.(oaks and maples). 

-Female seed (vomit smelling membrane) is directly the seed, not covered. GYMNOSPERM WITH BROADLEAVES. 

-Ginkgo has motile sperm. Male produces a bunch of pollen, lands on female seed, creates sperm that swims directly to the seed in the ovule. Most other plants have pollen tubes

-Ginkgo can change from one sex to another. Found a male tree with one female branch. Not the best for genetics but it survives. They are Inbred so they create mutations. It is a phenomenon and not normal

Literature about trees and nature

Today I picked out different passages I thought encapsulated the beauty of both language and nature. The Authors I read from are Robin Wall Kimmerer, Peter Wohlleben, George R. Stewart, and JRR Tolkien. The books and the passages I read can be found below. A recording of this episode is also available to download through the link below.

Passages today portrayed the beauty of nature from the Asters and Goldenrods to the misty old-growth of the PNW listen in to hear these authors depict stunning landscapes. Get swept away by the vivid imagery and sensory words that bring you to each environment as if you are actually standing there.


Kimmerer, R. W. (2013). Braiding Sweetgrass. Milkweed Edition.

Passages: Page 40, 277, 293-294, 246-247, 

Kimmerer, R. W. (2003). Gathering Moss (17th ed.). Oregon State University Press.

Passages: Page 1, 13

Wohlleben, P. (2015). The Hidden Life of Trees. Greystone Books.

Passage: Page 64

Tolkien, J. R. R. (2001). The Silmarillion (2nd ed.). Del Ray.

Passage: Page 31





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