And I don`t mean my smelly brood.
I`m referring to one of the World`s Great Mysteries. Not as famous as Crop Circles, the building of the pyramids or the disappearance of the Mayans, but equally mysterious.
Just how is it that these beautiful and majestic Ginkgo trees can smell so bad? One trot through a Ginkgo row and you`ll rival Usain Bolt in a sprint for an escape route. Noxious, nauseating, nefarious- all perfect descriptors of this suffocating stank.
To further the mystery, once the funk reaches a peak and the berries drop to the ground, people clamor to pick the fallen fetid fruits in order to remove the nut inside. Which somehow is then eaten. The first person to discover and eat this nut must have been one hungry hombre. Or Bear Grylls.
When I was in college, there was a lone ginkgo tree outside the Biology building beside the door. One required true dedication to attending class as entering the building during stink season not only meant walking though the stench to get in, but getting whiffs of it through out class. Because of my four years of scent sensitivity training in college, I was able to take these pictures.
Just like the cockroach and the crocodile, the Ginkgo is a living fossil. Resistant to disease and containing insect repelling enzymes, this tree claims to have specimens up to 2,500 years old. One sniff in that direction and you too will understand why bugs won`t even set up shop in the bark. According to Wikipedia the smell is similar to “vomit or rotten milk.” Others describe it simply as “butt.” Perhaps these creative- and accurate- descriptions can help you understand without resorting to scratch and sniff technology just how putrid these trees can be.
I just wonder why no one ever takes an axe to these specimens.
These poor school kids. Forced to pick the leaves.Where are child labor laws preventing this abuse?
At least a few of them are wearing masks. This poor little guy is so discombobulated he has his chin strap attached to his nose.
Is this the Japanese secret to academic success? Using these ginkgo leaves for their reputed memory enhancing properties thereby creating a SAT super student?
I guess beauty really can hide a multitude of sins. In this case anyway.
These trees are truly breathtaking- in every scents of the word.