The C&O Canal Towpath has been closed since last week between 31st and Wisconsin in Georgetown due to huge trees downed by the weight of Snowmageddon 2010. No word on when NPS plans to clean up the mess, so if your jogging route takes you down the C&O anytime soon, you might want to detour down to K or up to M for the time being.
If you think you’re seeing trees sprout up overnight in Georgetown, your eyes aren’t deceiving you. By the end of December, Casey Trees and Trees for Georgetown will have planted 47 trees along the residential streets. Most will go in existing, empty tree boxes, but a couple will go in new ones.
With regard to Wonkette’s report on widespread city stink, the most likely culprit is the malodorous ginkgo seed, which the trees shed in late fall to early winter — to fall all over the sidewalk. The seed is encased in a fleshy berry-like layer called a sarcotesta, which contains butanoic acid — a chemical found in vomit, feces, and rancid butter. (And delicious parmesan cheese!)
You’ve probably had to step through a few layers of ginkgo while walking around for the last few weeks, thus carrying a sarcotesta-rrific fragrance on the soles of your shoes around the city, into your homes, offices, on to the Metro, and everywhere else. Do yourself and everyone else a favor and wipe your feet thoroughly before going indoors. Gladly, winter is arriving, and ginkgo seeds will not be dropping from the trees for much longer.