Macro Monday’s post puzzled several of our readers, so I promised to reveal all.
I must admit that this had me scratching my head until I found out what it was. That’s what I love about macro photography. It can be something you see every day, but because it’s a close-up image, you don’t recognise it.
The fruit of the horse chestnut tree
A tall, broad tree of woodlands, roadsides and parks, the introduced horse chestnut is familiar to many of us. The ‘conker’ producing tree – its shiny, brown seeds appearing in their spiny cases in autumn.
The horse chestnut is a tall, broad tree that has been widely planted in parks and gardens. Originally native to the mountains of northern Greece and Albania, it was introduced into the UK in 1616 and has since become naturalised. In April and May, rows of horse chestnuts lining roads and in woodlands provide a spectacular display of ‘candles’ – large, upright flower spikes ranging in colour from white to deep pink. In autumn, it sheds its spiny-cased seeds, known as conkers.
How to identify
The horse chestnut has hand-shaped, palmate leaves with five to seven-toothed leaflets. It displays large, pinky-white flower spikes, and its spiny-shelled fruits contain seeds, or ‘conkers’.
Did you know?
The conkers of the horse chestnut are collected by children everywhere for competitions: attached to strings, two conkers are alternately flicked at each other until one breaks. Taking this a step further, the world conker championships are held at Ashton in Northamptonshire in October every year.
(from www.wildlifetrusts.org )