In observance of Memorial Day, we will be closed Monday 5/26. We will be back to normal hours on Tuesday!

What is this texture?

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Introduction

So begins a new look for our website and a personal journey. I have long been confused by the changing nature of patriotism in America. As a kid growing up, it was simple. Patriotism was love of one's country and devotion or service to it. One's country included its people, culture, history, biology, geology, geography and government. Service could include military service, but it could include most any effort to make America and your fellow Americans better. The flag is different. It is a symbol. Whether people burn it or wrap themselves in it, the flag is political. Patriotism, going back to the the dictionary definition, is about love not anger.

I wanted to step away from politics, hop in my truck and go for a drive to find things I love, simple things. Things that might not make any sense by themselves but when combined with hundreds of other textures of our country, they paint a picture or weave a tapestry of something really wonderful. Each week we will feature a new background texture for our website along with a bit of description. We hope you will follow along. We will keep an archive of all of our textures for review as our journey continues and our composition takes shape.

Texture
One of our favorite fall events is watching our ginkgo tree drops its leaves. 
The ginkgo tree is a "living fossil" with its origins dating back 270 million years. It is a gymnosperm. There are male trees and female trees. The male tree is usually more prized since the female tree drops its flesh-covered seeds on the ground in the fall. As they rot, they can smell bad. However, some people with allergies are more bothered by the male tree. 
Millions of years ago the tree was widely distributed around the world, but its natural environment shrank to a small area in China to near extinction. But gardeners have now spread this beautiful tree around the world.  
The ginkgo is amazingly durable. It outlasted the dinosaurs after the asteroid strike. The tree is highly resistant to insects, air pollution and even atomic bombs. Ginkgo trees in the center of Hiroshima were charred but soon sprang back to life after the first atomic bomb was dropped on people. The roots do well in confined spaces, making this a very desirable tree for urban areas. The tree is capable of living over a thousand years.
The leaves are fan shaped with veins which radiate out into the leaf blade. They turn saffron yellow in the fall, if cold temperatures don't come too soon. What makes the falling leaves an event is that, at least for the tree in my front yard, about 90% of the leaves drop in the space of about 4 hours. It is a cascade of brightly colored leaves in mad flurry.

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  • Mick