06 December 2013

day 6: chestnuts

This is one of fifty two chestnut trees in Greenwich Park. Just imagine, you could visit one every week of the year and then start all over again to see what had changed. Myself, I find it quite extraordinary that these trees are so very old, planted around 350 years ago, though it notices in their bent limbs and gnarled trunks. Apparently the complex structure of the trees is enormously important to wildlife; those clefts and cavities provide safe space for all sorts of invertebrates and fungi. And there are the sweet chestnuts, of course, sought after by squirrels and elderly ladies alike in the autumn. Unfortunately the only evidence we found of this year's crop was  was a little cache of husks in a neat pile. 

At least I thought that was our lot, until this evening when John took out of his pocket three or four tiny little chestnuts that he had quietly pocketed and is planning to grow. Now that would be a wonderful thing, wouldn't it. A sapling from an ancient tree.


Just a quick word to say thank you for the comments you have been leaving over the last week or so. I particularly enjoyed all the comments on the Factory Dress. I always wonder whether I'm going to make it to the twenty fourth, but somehow something always turns up on the journey.


shandy said...

I love the way that the structure of trees is more evident at this time of year. Birches are magical.

Shelagh Duncan said...

Thank you so much for your blog, especially "day 6: chestnuts". I am a Brit living in North Carolina( for many years)and grew up loving the numerous chestnut trees in the woods around our house.Unfortunately all the chestnuts in the US were killed by a blight many years ago although efforts are being made to bring them back. NO "conker" trees here either!Again thank you for the great pics. Shelagh

Unknown said...

Just catching up on your blog. I grew up in Greenwich (I'm now in the US)and remember collecting chestnuts from the park. Then we would roast them on a shovel over the fire in the long winter evenings. I didn't realize the trees were so old. Thanks for bringing back memories.