Elma Family Kitty Living Arrows Photography

Living Arrows 39/52

29/09/2014

It’s that time of year again.  Time for a little expedition.  In the sunshine, under the trees, on a glorious warm and sunny afternoon two little girls went hunting for treasure.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

Even though it feels like the trees are just starting to turn, and it was August only yesterday, there were enough fallen leaves to carpet the grass and give a reassuring crunch under tiny feet.  And hidden in the leaves, peeking out from behind spiky shells that look like bright green miniature hedgehogs, is the bounty we’re looking for. Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

It was Elma’s first time collecting conkers; she wasn’t really very sure what we were looking for to start with, but as the pile started to build up in her buggy seat she found first one, and then another, and then more and more and more.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

I’m not sure that she understands why we want to pick them up and bring them home; they look so very lickeable but for some extraordinary reason Mummy won’t let her eat them, they don’t really do anything, and if you throw them inside the house they get put away in the play kitchen saucepans and someone says “No Thank You!”

But I don’t think she minded too much either.  I sat on our picnic quilt in the shade of the neighbouring trees feeding Pip and snuggling him as he watched the leaves dance in the branches above while the girls ran back and forth to the conker tree, racing each other around the far side of the trunk and back to deposit each new discovery in my lap and just check that I was looking after their baby brother properly.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

I really didn’t think that they’d found that many, just a neat little pile building up in Elma’s seat, and even when I moved them all into my handbag so that I could strap her in again for the way home it didn’t seem too many.  It was only when we got home and realised we could fill the entire play kitchen saucepan set to the brim that we realised we’ve got our best collection yet.

I do have a plan, which is probably just as well, and I think we’ll be starting with Red Ted Art’s Conker Snake (thanks to Claire who pointed it out to me) just as soon as we can persuade H to get busy with a barbeque skewer.

But I also think you don’t really need a reason to collect conkers, they’re reason enough themselves, all silky smooth and that glorious rich shiny brown.  They’re so tactile and inviting and pilled up in the play saucepans ready to be stirred, or poured out, or used for some game involving putting a conker on top of each of the building blocks they’re a classic case of nature winning out over every other lovely toy in the house.

And apparently we’re not the only ones.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

We couldn’t decide whether this was the work of squirrels, fairies, pixies or just people without either pockets or a bag to take them home in,

living arrows

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  • hena tayeb 29/09/2014 at 4:41 pm

    the kids sure had fun. had never heard of conkers before.. will be doing some searching too

    • Carie 29/09/2014 at 9:04 pm

      You might know them as Horse Chestnuts? They’re a childhood classic around here!

  • sally 29/09/2014 at 6:19 pm

    Venetia is loving collecting conkers at the moment, Maria a little bit too. Neither of them have any reason either, which, like you, I’m fine with, but then I did see this idea today, which I think they might both be tempted to do:
    http://www.redtedart.com/2014/09/29/chestnut-crafts-animals-mit-kastanien-basteln/

    • Carie 29/09/2014 at 9:06 pm

      Oooh I like it – probably a bit too advanced for my lot but I’ll have to remember it for next year! Promise you’ll post pictures if you give it a go!

  • Donna 29/09/2014 at 9:41 pm

    Those photos are so beautiful. Everyone loves looking for conkers, autumn is definitely here x

    • Carie 29/09/2014 at 10:53 pm

      Aww thank you very much 🙂

  • Emma T 29/09/2014 at 10:46 pm

    Lovely photos. I do love getting conkers myself, although we’ve not seen that much so far. Just a few pockets full

    • Carie 29/09/2014 at 10:53 pm

      Oh we’ve got more than a few pockets full – I keep finding extra ones in strange places too!