I found a Ginkgo leaf in a parking lot last week, and it reminded me of the Ginkgoes along Stewart Street near the University of Dayton--possibly they are no longer there. When the female trees would drop their fruit on the sidewalks in the fall, the air, and sometimes the hallways of the campus buildings, would be tinged with the scent of vomit for a week or two.
While doing some research on Ginkgoes, I found a website and a blog run by Cor Kwant from her home in the Netherlands. Kwant's website and blog are devoted to Ginkgoes and they are a pleasure to read. Every possible aspect of the Ginkgo, including a section about how it came to carry such an odd and awkwardly spelled name, is covered in detail. It's evident that the author has a lot respect, even love, for this ancient tree. Ginkgoes have been around since the dinosaurs; have survived atomic bomb blasts; are used in medicine; are integral parts of the arts and religion; have gorgeous plumage and fall colors, and if handled properly the seeds are a delicacy. It's all there on Kwant's website and blog.
Here are some fall Ginkgo leaves offered for good health, good luck, safe travels, and to ward off or defeat any illnesses that might be pestering you and yours. I wish my Ginkgo leaves were as nice as these examples.