P71213This single yellow ginkgo leaf says a lot. It was found among the abundant cottonwood leaves on the broad walkway in Felton Covered Bridge Park (https://tonytomeo.wordpress.com/2017/12/02/felton-covered-bridge/). There are no ginkgo trees in the neighborhood that I am aware of. It must have come a long way to arrive here on the morning of December 13.

It really did not need to go through all the effort to get here. I need no help to remember the date. It is the birthday of a good friend who passed away last May.

Steven Michael Ralls is one of two friends I went to Oklahoma with late in 2012 (https://tonytomeo.wordpress.com/2017/11/19/oklahoma/). In the picture attached to my article about going to Oklahoma, there is a handsome gentleman to the left. That is me. The bronze guy in the middle was just standin’ on the corner in Winslow, Arizona. Steven is on the right. Gayle is on the sidewalk groping the bronze guy.

Steven did not know or care much about horticulture, but he knew ginkgo. It was his favorite tree; and it is the only tree that he remembered the botanical name for. There are a few gingko trees about Santa Cruz and elsewhere. He would sometimes point them out and exclaim, “Gingko biloba!”

I have not yet planted a ginkgo tree for Steven. At the spot under the Felton Covered Bridge where we scattered his ash, I planted a few canna seed that I brought back from Oklahoma, and some rooted cuttings of a pink brugmansia that I acquired during an outing with Steven to Santa Cruz. Neither grew enough to survive when the San Lorenzo River comes up this winter; so I will probably need to plant more.

Well, getting back to the single yellow ginkgo leaf. It says a lot. Today is December 13, the birthday of my good friend Steven.

9 thoughts on “Birthday

    1. Although they are not my favorite, I like them as street trees for parkstrips. They are complaisant with the concrete, and modern cultivars do not produce the smelly fruit. When I was in high school, I would go with a group of friends to pick the fruit up off the sidewalk near San Jose State. They loved it. ICK! I don’t care how much you love it, or if you are willing to eat something that smells like ‘that’; you just don’t eat something off the sidewalk on South Fourth Street! They liked the fruit, but not the nuts. Some people eat the nuts but not the fruit.


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