I picked the chestnuts on the street while walking my dog this morning. Autumn is almost here and the dark couds that covered the sky promised rain. Heavy rain.
The horse chestnut is a stunning tree that is originally native to the mountains of northern Greece and Albania. It was introduced to the UK in the late 16th century. I love the hand-shaped, palmate leaves with five to seven toothed leaflets and its spiny-shelled fruits, the conkers. They are like magical treasures carefully hiding their secrets.
Both sweet chestnut and horse chestnut contain the word nut but what is hidden inside the spiky coverings is actually a seed. A nut is defined as an enclosed seed with a hard uter shell that does not open naturally to release the seed. Last year we grow physalis in the garden, also called cape gooseberries, they have a fruit with multiple seeds. After the seeds have released the latern skeletons remain on the plant. A fun fruit to gow with children. Planning for next year’s season have already started!
Noticing little things in your neighbourhood is a great way to spark an interest in nature and biomimicry.
Yesterday I listened to another Biomimicry Fireside Chats. This time the theme was Transforming Education: Fostering Students’ Connection with Nature.
Several links to books that can be used to encourage an interest in biomimicry was mentioned in the chat. Here are a couple that I have added to my wish list for this autumn.
While I browsed around for books I found this which looks great. . . and reminded me of a blog post on Sparking Children’s Thinkiblity. Check it out.