Sunday, November 21, 2021

Louisville Soccer and Living Fossils


On Saturday, November 20, 2021 Louisville Kentucky USA hosted the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) championship game which turned out into a competitive match between Chicago Red Stars and the Washington Spirit. The Washington Spirit team ending up winning 2-1 and the above picture shows their award ceremony. 

10,360 showed up for the game and as a result I went to the game several hours early and stayed about 90 minutes after it ended because of traffic. In this extra time, I explored around the stadium and found that the trees planted around the perimeter were Ginkgo biloba (Linnaeus, 1771). According to Wikipedia, while the species was named by Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus, Chinese herbalists named it in literature as early as 1329. The fossil record shows leaves from the Permian Period (about 290 million years ago). I have posted about this fossil before back in 2010 (LINK).

Most of the leaves seen on Saturday were yellow from the autumn temperatures though a few still showed some green. The plant has a distinctive fan like shape.

I am curious as to why this tree was chosen for the landscaping the complex. As it turns out, I help the landscape architect from time to time with IT issues. Next time, I encounter him I plan to ask about this. If you get a chance, I encourage you to attend a Racing Louisville or Louisville City soccer game at Lynn Family stadium and check these trees out for yourself and the beautiful venue.