If there were an autumn tree contest this year, I think I'd be judging the ginkgo tree as winner every time. Yes, the multi-colored stars of the sweet gum, the lacy poetic Japanese maple, or the terracotta red giant oak all keep taking my breath away. But I'm in love with the ginkgo—the chantrelle/vase-shaped finely ridged leaves, matte finished and opaque like thick butter, clinging to the black branches like a swarm of butterflies, and then piling like royal confetti at her roots... And especially *this* ginkgo, who lives many blocks away from my window, standing out, alone, from a sea of rooftops and dark cedars. As the sun rises, the tips of her branches catch fire until she is singularly illuminated. Yesterday, I decided to try and actually find this tree and see her up close. She was only about five blocks away, and did not disappoint.
(I'm grateful that this tree is placed just so for my appreciation, and I'm grateful to my cowboy poet dad for whom gushing about an extraordinary tree would be very ordinary.)