Carrie Gooseberries

gooseberries
Amanda Almira Newton (1860-1943)

 

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE POMOLOGICAL WATERCOLOR COLLECTION RARE AND SPECIAL COLLECTIONS
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Gold and Green

a lopez garcia fruitAntonio López Garcia
Los Melacotones y Las Rosas (detail), 1956

 


The Consent

Late in November, on a single night
Not even near to freezing, the ginkgo trees
That stand along the walk drop all their leaves
In one consent, and neither to rain nor to wind
But as though to time alone: the golden and green
Leaves litter the lawn today, that yesterday
Had spread aloft their fluttering fans of light.

What signal from the stars? What senses took it in?
What in those wooden motives so decided
To strike their leaves, to down their leaves,
Rebellion or surrender? and if this
Can happen thus, what race shall be exempt?
What use to learn the lessons taught by time.
If a star at any time may tell us: Now.


Howard Nemerov (1920 – 1991)

 


Night of The Ginko

by Oliver Sacks (1933 – 2015)

Today in New York—November 13th—leaves are falling, drifting, skittering everywhere. But there is one striking exception: the fan-shaped leaves of the ginkgo are still firmly attached to their branches, even though many of them have turned a luminous gold. One sees why this beautiful tree has been revered since ancient times.

Carefully preserved for millennia in the temple gardens of China, ginkgoes are almost extinct in the wild, but they have an extraordinary ability to survive the heat, the snows, the hurricanes, the diesel fumes, and the other charms of New York City, and there are thousands of them here, mature ones bearing a hundred thousand leaves or more—tough, heavy Mesozoic leaves such as the dinosaurs ate. The ginkgo family has been around since before the dinosaurs, and its only remaining member, Ginkgo biloba, is a living fossil, basically unchanged in two hundred million years.

While the leaves of the more modern angiosperms—maples, oaks, beeches, what have you—are shed over a period of weeks after turning dry and brown, the ginkgo, a gymnosperm, drops its leaves all at once. The botanist Peter Crane, in his book “Ginkgo,” writes that, in relation to a very large ginkgo in Michigan, “for many years there was a competition to guess the date on which the leaves would fall.” In general, Crane says, it happens with “eerie synchronicity,” and he quotes the poet Howard Nemerov

Are the ginkgoes responding to some external signal, such as the change of temperature or light? Or to some internal, genetically programmed signal? No one knows what lies behind this synchronicity, but it is surely related to the antiquity of the ginkgo, which has evolved along a very different path from that of more modern trees.

Will it be November 20th, 25th, 30th? Whenever it is, each tree will have its own Night of the Ginkgo. Few people will see this—most of us will be asleep—but in the morning the ground beneath the ginkgo will be carpeted with thousands of heavy, golden, fan-shaped leaves.

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/11/24/night-ginkgo

Wintu

Beatrix Whistler blackberriesBlackberries,
Beatrix Whistler (1857–1896)


We shake down acorns and pinenuts.  We don’t chop down the trees.
– Wintu Indian

Fruit and Creature

apple lizard
Giovanna Garzoni
(1600–1670)

Published in: on September 22, 2014 at 11:39 pm  Comments (4)  
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Melon

watermelon
Ulisse Aldrovandi (11 September 1522 – 4 May 1605)

 

Pineapple

pineapple ligozziJacopo Ligozzi (1547–1627)

 

Brambles

rubus isham
Artist: Schutt, Ellen Isham, 1873-1955
Scientific name: Rubus
Common name: brambles
Variety: Eaton
Geographic origin: Leslie, Ingham County, Michigan, United States

Early Crawford Peach

peaches

Artist: Passmore, Deborah Griscom, 1840-1911
Scientific name: Prunus persica
Common name: peaches

1905
Influence of Pre-cooling on Peaches. Specimen #1 – 34318 – Hard ripe Early Crawford peach delivered at New York in sound condition by precooling and ordinary icing. Specimen #2 – 34318 – Early Crawford peach from California picked green and shipped to New York under ordinary icing in the usual way.

 

The USDA Pomological Watercolor Collection is in the National Agricultural Library (NAL). As a historic botanical resource, it documents new fruit and nut varieties, and specimens introduced by USDA plant explorers from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
The collection spans the years 1886 to 1942. The majority of the paintings were created between 1894 and 1916. The plant specimens represented by these artworks originated in 29 countries and 51 states and territories in the U.S. There are 7,497 watercolor paintings, 87 line drawings, and 79 wax models created by approximately 21 artists.   

Lithographs of the watercolor paintings were created to illustrate USDA bulletins, yearbooks, and other publications distributed to growers and gardeners across America.

Apples and Pear

courbet-fruitJean Désiré Gustave Courbet (10 June 1819 – 31 December 1877)

Published in: on November 26, 2012 at 2:20 pm  Comments (6)  
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Damas, Mirabelle

linard 3Jacques Linard (1597–1645)

 

Published in: on October 9, 2012 at 7:05 pm  Comments (1)  
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