Seeds of The Horse Chestnut or Conker Tree (Aesculus hippocastanum)

Conkers (Horse chestnut seeds)
Horse chestnut seeds are called conkers

While not a native tree, characterful flowers, leaves and seeds have made the horse chestnut tree so wildly grown that it is (or should be) part of every British childhood. Tough, spiky cases with an inner layer of padding protect large, polished chestnut-coloured seeds (conkers) while they form.

One of my memories of Autumn ’22 will be standing under the canopy of the biggest horse chestnut tree in Bold Venture Park to see if any fine conkers were left in the leaf litter underneath, a habit that dies hard. Better than that, I soon discovered, turn and turn about, conkers tippling their balance from unreadiness to ripeness in a decisive instant were slowly, heavily, falling around me. Continue reading “Seeds of The Horse Chestnut or Conker Tree (Aesculus hippocastanum)”

On The Fairy Path

Trees arching over a path

Regular readers may remember that I’ve mentioned a fairy path that tracks a leat draining the meadow above the southern edge of Sunnyhurst Wood in Darwen. Oak, chestnut, birch, beech, sycamore, ash, holly and elder are scattered among tall evergreens. Somewhere between a park and a wood, it is laced with main paths that run down to Sunnyhurst stream at the bottom of the valley. This isn’t one of them.  Continue reading “On The Fairy Path”