29 – Fruits of the Forest Floor

Local seasonal photographs and all taken by me © Andrew 🙂

Residents on my housing estate must have wondered what an earth I was playing at yesterday? There I was crouched down underneath two walnut trees taking close up photographs of the ground!

I have always been an autumnal collector of UK tree seeds (a rather strange admission I know) as far back as I can remember when walking our collie dogs in local woods I’ve invariably returned home with pockets full of oak tree acorns, sycamore seeds, ‘conkers’, beech nuts and walnuts……..You see I can’t resist picking them up because quite simply I hate to see the fruit go to waste! Yes later when I returned home most were thrown in the waste bin, but as a teenager I used to plant the foraged acorn and beech seeds into pots then transport the samplings back into the woods years later. I wish I knew whereabouts though! I sense standing in a forest gazing at a fully grown oak tree I’d grown from an acorn a quarter of a century previous could be quite a spiritual experience. 🙂

Incidentally for those not in the know, fruit from the horse chestnut tree in the UK is called a ‘conker’…..and to play the game of ‘conkers’ children dig a hole through the brown nut, tie a piece of string, and well you can guess!

Anyways before I get side tracked with childhood memories and tales of schoolboy games this post features two walnut trees a few hundred metres from my home, I’ll give you a short geography lesson, from where I’m standing taking the photograph below, walk to your left following the Cotswold wall line and you’ll pass ‘Codfathers’ Fish and Chip restaurant then the Doctor’s surgery and my home, turn right and you’ll find yourself at Downton Abbey Yew Tree Farm.

Thirty years ago when the housing estate was built on wheat fields surrounding my Town, various types of tree species were planted on small patches of grass with the aim of improving the look and feel for residents living there, and in that respect they are a success, turn down one Street and you’ll find a small green oasis of oak trees, down another and you could happen across ‘copper’ beech trees and in next week or so the best is yet to come when the leaves turn rustic shades of brown…..yes I am fortunate and perhaps take my local surroundings a little for granted.

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Two walnut trees close to my home with leaves just starting to turn yellow
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…….walk a few paces closer and I’m standing underneath a tree canopy

So now you understand why after work I slightly change my route home, yes the distance is slightly longer from the bus stop but after a windy day there’s sure to be fallen walnuts blown to the ground and you’ve guessed 🙂 I fill my pockets with as many as I can find!…………..Neighbours looking out of their kitchen windows must question what an earth I am up to when there is a perfectly good Tesco supermarket around the corner, but hey we all know food tastes better if you don’t have to pay for it and I’ve just had a thought perhaps that’s the real reason why I also grow raspberries? Or the fact I’m just a tightwad!!! (That’s a British slang word meaning ‘an aversion to spending ones own money’ also known as ‘not having spent a penny’).

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A close up photograph of an ‘English walnut’ variety on the ground

My apologies the ‘walnut laying on the ground’ close up photo above is a little ‘washed out’ but our evenings are drawing-in and late afternoon yesterday was a little gloomy hence the bright flash!!! Anyways if you look more closely you’ll just make out the image of an English walnut or:

Juglans regia, Persian walnut, English walnut, or especially in Great Britain called the common walnut, which is an Old World walnut tree species native to the region stretching from the Balkans eastward to the Himalayas and southwest China. (Courtesy Wikipedia

Very few plants and trees are indigenous to one particular Country and that applies to wildlife as well however introducing species into other continents can have terrible dire consequences, for example the European grey squirrel was introduced into the UK and for reasons you’ll have to Google the grey species went on to virtually wipe out our own red squirrel, such a shame because the red is such a sweet looking animal, but there you are, and yet again through the wonders of the internet Wikipedia informs us the ‘English walnut’ originates all the way from southwest China……..your fact of the day!

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……..and taken even closer!!!
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Three of the many I picked from the ground

…………don’t you think the Google a wonderful tool? The search engine even gave me storage tips, apparently you lay the ‘English walnut’ out to dry for two weeks then crack open and eat!

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Lay the walnuts out in plastic crates to dry for 2 weeks

Well I hope you enjoyed my photographs following my housing estate ‘fruits of the forest’ foraging journey yesterday afternoon………and who knows what I’ll Post about next?

Andrew

 

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11 thoughts on “29 – Fruits of the Forest Floor

  1. Such a delightful post Andrew, a lovely scene of your house and the beautiful surroundings. I adore walnuts in the winter, they are plentiful here and pecans, mostly growing in the south, but not really in Florida except at the very far north. Thank you for the peaceful and serene beauty on this Sunday morning.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Cara I 🙂 trust you are well. Yes trees are beautiful and most certainly peaceful to gaze upon and I believe hold a special place in our hearts and souls. Whilst putting this post together I began to realise I don’t appreciate how lucky I am, the neighbourhood is very quiet with many nice people. 😀 This post took a while but seems to have been well received which is nice, I have to pinch myself to remind I am not a writer but people enjoy reading which is a joy to know. x

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice Andrew! 🙂 Beautiful pictures!
    I wish I knew where the walnut trees are here. I find the shells all over (animals bring them, I guess), but I have no idea where the trees are.
    I think I’d be collecting them too and eating them with dried figs 🙂
    And if I found almonds, I’ll be baking cookies every weekend 😀

    I guess I should be thankful I can’t find anything or I’d be 300kg 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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