Saturday, November 21, 2009

" smells like butt."

I have a fruit of the gingko tree sitting in a Dixie cup on a lab table in my classroom. It smells like vomit. I brought it in because, well, because it smells like vomit, and I teach sophomores.

Yesterday a group of several young men spent a few minutes sniffing the fruit, screwing up their faces in disgust, then sniffing it again. And again. And again.

At the table across from them, a few young women watched bemused.

It's amazing this species ever procreates.

Photo from "Wildman" Steve Brill's site, a site well worth the visit.


John Spencer said...

Apparently sophomores aren't all that different from eighth graders.

Kate said...

doyle! it's so true!

My daughter is a sophomore and I see her and her friends look at the young men in their class and shake their heads.

We have a female ginko down the street from us. Fortunately we are north of it and prevailing winds are west to east or from the north, because it smells like a feedlot on a bad day. Sheesh! Nature is perverse, but (I guess) the stench protects the seeds from being eaten.

There are at least two apple pies in my future this week (but no ginko jelly!) - and the family is gathering. We promise to tell good stories.

John Spencer said...

Here in AZ we have a tree that smells like sex. I know I'm not supposed to say that, because the mention of that word is "unprofessional," but seriously, you take a drive past it and it smells like sex.

Apparently they are also called Trees of Heaven and something else as well. But growing up in California and then in Arizona we just called them sex trees or sperm trees.

Anonymous said...

it could be the carob tree that ur smelling too

nashworld said...

What a specimen... Ginkgo biloba. There is a colossal one at the top of my block that is simply the most beautiful autumn tree around. Sure we have riotous maples of every different variety. We have white ask... a myriad list of oaks in every shade of rust, red and brown.

But that doggone ginkgo is the queen. (Or rather- king in this particular case) The sprays of leaves spilling down the aged branches just have... a different pattern even from afar. Upon closer inspection of the crystal-yellow leaves, the parallel venation does it's weak monocot impersonation.

Love those trees. Love the story of how they arrived on our shores (sorta). So beloved that monks kept them from extirpation for generations? Love the sheer fact of holding onto a living "fossil" of the plant kingdom.

I love how these naked seeds make us wonder about how they were once spread when actively reproducing and spreading across the land. Botanical anachronisms like this should make proponents of intelligent design weep.