Wednesday, December 1

Ancient King Close to Home

Rantwick, as is his habit, likes his "King Maple." Even this year, though he was a bit tardy, his post shows it here. He hasn't yet said which "RAT" he might be at this year. Myself, I've been marooned in Ocean Shores over the winter, only returning to DFW recently. The trip was somewhat surreal since pandemic responses ranged from one extreme to another along the way. When we left, fall color hadn't really made its appearance in the Pacific Northwest. Arriving back home, it seemed somewhat summery, with warm days and even warm nights. Until recently when we hit a cold spell.


At this point, I'll digress. Many millions of years ago, long before any Maple trees existed that could claim to be any sort of king, there was the Ginkgo.  Gingko fossils have been found that are 170 million years old (the Middle Jurassic Period) and almost identical to the Ginkgo biloba; native to China. The Ginkgo biloba is found around the world. It is the last remaining species of its order. Certainly it is an ancient tree.


Ginkgo trees are not usually considered to have spectacular autumn color. According to Wikipedia, "the leaves turn a bright yellow, then fall sometimes as quickly as one day. However, if the leaves remain, the tree truly can be considered as a king of the forest. It's been that way since the dinosaurs dominated the animal kingdom. At the top of this post is such a King. While perhaps not the largest tree in the neighborhood, it is rare to see one so colorfully yellow with almost all of its leaves. That is the result of a fall freeze followed by many more moderate days without much rain or wind. Long live the King!

Close to Home

Strangely, this particular king isn't in a distant arboretum or otherwise hiding away. While I've noticed it in past years, it is nicer than ever this year. Where is it? It's across the street from my own house in Colleyville, Texas! You can't get much closer to home than that. Below, you can see the King, with 2 of its courtiers - 2 Maple trees that it puts to shame. If you look closer, you can also see a few Christmas decorations. Autumn arrives late in North Texas!

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No Need for Non-Robot proof here!