Halloween Haiku

Ginkgo tree in autumn
The modest ginkgo
adorns herself in splendor
for All Hallows’ Eve.


Growing up in Missouri, I don’t think I ever saw a ginkgo tree.  Now that I live in Washington state, I wouldn’t say they are common, but they pop up now and then.

Since I first noticed ginkgos, I thought they were exotic and different from other trees.  And, sure enough, the ginkgo biloba is the only living species of its biological family.  All the other ginkgo species are long extinct.

It’s also known as the maidenhair tree.  I’m not sure why, but it is a lovely tree with light green leaves in the summer.  It doesn’t really call attention to itself until the fall, when it turns a vivid gold.

They must be one of the toughest trees to kill.  Six ginkgo trees between 1 and 2 kilometers of the Hiroshima atomic bomb blast of 1945 are recorded to have survived.  While they were charred, they were soon growing and healthy.