Small things of great beauty

Few things, I said dreamily to firstborn, are as beautiful as the skin of a conker just out of the shell, so smooth, so lustrous.

So bothborn found a conker tree for me.


And many conkers.


Many, many conkers.


It was also a day of butterflies – red admiral, tortoiseshell and comma. There was a cabbage white too, but I didn’t get a picture.

10 Replies to “Small things of great beauty”

  1. Oh, yes…horse chestnuts. I clicked through to ask what a “conker” was since these looked to me like buckeyes, which I didn’t think you had over there:

    But horse chestnuts are very similar; in fact, at Ohio State University (home of the Ohio State Buckeyes), the so-called “buckeyes” on campus are actually ornamental horse chestnuts, not native buckeyes.

    I never knew there was a game involving horse chestnuts. I often collect a single fresh buckeye & carry it in my pocket until it becomes shiny with wear; eventually it ends up cracking or decaying, or a worm burrows out from inside. Or I just lose it. 🙂

  2. Fascinating! The house is usually full of conkers in various states of shrivelment at this time of year, lurking underfoot to trip the unwary. Sometimes they do actually play conkers too. But the primary fascination seems to be mere acquisition. I wonder why, if you have the object over there, you don’t have the game.

  3. Lovely photos … and a new term for me. I learned to call these things horse chestnuts, but conkers is certainly more apt, like Dave’s “frass” over at via negativa.

  4. I used to saok conkers in vinegar. Worked 50-50. I think it’s all in the technique.

    That color is unimaginable if it weren’t in fact there, imagined, real.

  5. Makes me nostalgic for London. We don’t have many horsechestnuts up here. Picking up the first conker was always the confirmation of the real arrival of Autumn.

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