Today was a breeze. It is mid-November. Today’s high was in the seventies, the sun was out and the wind was gusting out of the south. So, Anne and I went for a bike ride together. We went out for lunch and then stopped at the Gardens. We got 16 miles. We had lunch at the Local Harvest Café. Located at the northern terminus of Morgan Ford, just south of Tower Grove Park, it is just down the block from Carl’s A&M Cycles. The Local Harvest grocery store was featured in last Sunday’s Cranksgiving charity bicycle ride. We spied the café then and vowed to return someday. That day was today. As the name implies, Local Harvest shops locally for its ingredients. A chalkboard lists the farms, their products and locale. Local Harvest is very bike friendly, as it’s extensive, but nearly full set of bike racks could testify. We split the Morgan Ford Mediterranean sandwich, with ah!zeefa (Berhanu Organic brand name) lentil spread, cucumbers, roasted red peppers, red onions, kalamata olives, greens, feta, balsamic vinaigrette on focaccia. It was served with homemade potato chips and a slice of grapefruit. It was yummy and splitting the sandwich made for perfect portions. After lunch we stopped off at the Gardens.
One of the objectives of this expedition, if not its main objective, with exercise and food taking a backseat, was the collection of blog fodder. I wanted to get a picture of a yellow ginkgo leaf. Last weekend they were all still too green, but through the work week, I noticed that they had turned. I just hoped that I was not too late. Every November, sometimes on a single night, a Ginkgo will drop all of its leaves, sometimes in the space of only a couple of hours. This so called, ginkgo rain, is triggered not by freezing temperatures, nor wind or rain, it is almost by mutual consent. For the ginkgo tree by the Grand Basin, I was too late. All the leaves were on the ground and they looked past their prime. Riding to lunch and then walking through the Garden, I noticed yellow tree after tree, some were nearly bare, and some were still fully leafed. Anne reminded me that the ginkgo tree was once nearly extinct. It was only kept alive through cultivation by Buddhist monks. The ginkgo tree is now alive and flourishing, at least in Saint Louis.