Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Buckeyes, horsechestnuts or chestnuts in the US, conkers in England, kastaņi in Latvija, châtaigne in France... Polished brown nuts wrapped in spiky green shells, the ones here in France aren’t edible, only collectible. We’ve had fun searching for them, sifting through the shells, leaves and grass. At first we only split open a few husks, and took home the pairs of glossy chestnuts nestled inside. Next time around we filled the little cupholders on the stroller with them, and left them behind on the way home, like a trail of breadcrumbs. Another batch made it all the way back to the kitchen, where they’ve joined the collection of bowls, plastic containers and spoons that have their place on a shelf at just the right height for a junior chef. While mom is washing dishes or preparing food, they get poured from one container into another, skidded across the floor, counted and recounted one by one from bowl to bin back to bowl again.

I’ll admit the last search was more for mom than for son. There aren’t many signs of autumn yet here in Clermont-Ferrand, only a slight drop in temperatures and shorter daylight hours signal the arrival of fall. The cyclamen on the dining room table brightens what otherwise could be dreary days, and now this bowl of silky chestnuts reminds me of the season I grew to love so much while living in Michigan. I’m still hoping for that crisp autumn air with the crackle of leaves underfoot, or maybe a few brightly colored yellow or red maples and hickories among the brown London planetrees, but for now I’ll settle for the silky smooth nuts hidden in the grass and husks like Easter eggs.


  1. We have so many of these in our house too. They make great toys, except when you find them underneath the furniture! ;)

  2. Wow, I love chestnuts so much! It is probably one of the things I like most in winter and I have already had some last week (the first on this season). Lovely photos!

  3. Skaisti! Man ļoti patika apraksts par kā Laurīts spēlējās ar kastāņiem - jeb vai tā bija mamma, kas spēlējās? ;)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...