E.J.Wilkins

18 Nov 2008 1,101 views
 
supporter of
atom rss 1.0 rss 2.0
web browser google del.icio.us digg technorati
| lost password
birth date
cancel
photoblog image Autumn Fruits

Autumn Fruits


Horse chestnut

Aesculus hippocastanum

These fruits are usually known as conkers, the subject of international competitions. Yes, they are, -look here-!

I can't imagine anything was further from John Tradescant's mind when he brought the first seeds/nuts to this country from south eastern Europe in the early 17th century.

Having mentioned John Tradescant, it is his collection of "curiosities" that was the first cultural museum in England. He built his "cabinet of curiosities" in Lambeth. This collection of artefacts, brought home from all around the world while he was plant hunting for the King, was in Lambeth and opened to the public in 1677. Both his home and the museum became known as "The Ark" and was a popular place to visit. He charged 6d a visit - this was half a shilling, and is equal to 2 1/2 pence in today's money.

I don't know if Philippa Gregory gets it exactly right in her book about John Tradescant Junior or not, but it's certainly documented that The Ark and the curiosities, were meant to go to his widow, however Elias Ashmole ended up with the lot, by deed of gift. He later donated this to Oxford University, founding The Ashmolean Museum. which was opened in 1783.
.

Autumn Fruits


Horse chestnut

Aesculus hippocastanum

These fruits are usually known as conkers, the subject of international competitions. Yes, they are, -look here-!

I can't imagine anything was further from John Tradescant's mind when he brought the first seeds/nuts to this country from south eastern Europe in the early 17th century.

Having mentioned John Tradescant, it is his collection of "curiosities" that was the first cultural museum in England. He built his "cabinet of curiosities" in Lambeth. This collection of artefacts, brought home from all around the world while he was plant hunting for the King, was in Lambeth and opened to the public in 1677. Both his home and the museum became known as "The Ark" and was a popular place to visit. He charged 6d a visit - this was half a shilling, and is equal to 2 1/2 pence in today's money.

I don't know if Philippa Gregory gets it exactly right in her book about John Tradescant Junior or not, but it's certainly documented that The Ark and the curiosities, were meant to go to his widow, however Elias Ashmole ended up with the lot, by deed of gift. He later donated this to Oxford University, founding The Ashmolean Museum. which was opened in 1783.
.

comments (30)

hmmmm...nice moment and good foto, and so nice caption. Thank you for your sharing. Regards from Yogyakarta Indonesia //
EJWilkins: Thanks for visiting Bram
Amazing things Ellie!
EJWilkins: They are rather, aren't they. The way the case opens up and the shiny nut is inside. So clever
  • Larry Bliss
  • Raleigh, North Carolina, USA
  • 18 Nov 2008, 02:18
Ellie, this is fascinating both as an image and as a subject. I had heard of horse chestnuts but never seen one. Bravo!
EJWilkins: Really? I thought everybody had heard of conkers, maybe it's a British thing after all. The "nut" is an inch or so across, to give you an idea of scale.
  • Tracy
  • Staffs Moorlands UK
  • 18 Nov 2008, 07:16
I loved playing conkers on the playground Ellie,it's the bruised hand that was painful.
Nice shotsmile
EJWilkins: Oh yes, so did I, so did our kids!
  • Ray
  • Thailand
  • 18 Nov 2008, 09:01
I wonder where the horse gets into the picture...
EJWilkins: Haven't a clue where the "horse" comes from Ray. Some sort of idea here
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/c/chehor58.html but it doesn't help much. It's nothing to do with horses, and nothing to do with the more edible "Spanish Chestnut" either. Completely different tree.
  • anniedog
  • United Kingdom
  • 18 Nov 2008, 10:01
I gather some schools have banned playing conkers in the playground on health and safety grounds! I love to see them like this just splitting open - I remember as I child being so disappointed when you took them home and the shiny brown skin became all dull and shrivelled! I think you are right about the Tradescant tale as I have just been reading about it in another book. A fine picture.
Ingrid
EJWilkins: The people that banned conkers and the same sort of idiots that say kids shouldn't use slides unless there's a rubber mat at the end - try finding one of them on a mountain! If you get a conker on your knuckle you soon learn how to avoid it, all part of the learning experience.
I wasn't sure if 'facts' show that the Tradescants were duped by Ashmole, that's what Philippar Gregory hints at ... and I still haven't been to the Ashmolean!
  • Aussie
  • A Wet and Stormy Brisbane
  • 18 Nov 2008, 10:35
great macro Ellie
EJWilkins: Done by a bit of cropping, these were about fifteen feet up in the tree wink
  • Harv
  • United Kingdom
  • 18 Nov 2008, 10:40
Fab sharp image Ellie. I've got to show this one to my son - he'll love it!
EJWilkins: Thanks Harv. It was the only non-blurry out of loads taken on a day that was windier than I thought. Hope yor son does like the picture smile
  • FLOOG
  • The library of my contented soul
  • 18 Nov 2008, 11:44
A wonderful image, and, as always, fascinating and informative details as an accompanyment.

I was naff at conkers and used to get beaten by every other Tom, Dick or Harry.... You can tell I don't hold a grudge Ha ha smile
EJWilkins: I was naff at conkers too, tried all sorts of things to make them more resilient, and to protect my knuckles, but nothing ever seemed to work out the way I planned!
  • vintage
  • Australia
  • 18 Nov 2008, 12:23
Very interesting photo and information I had herd of a horse chestnut but first time to see one thanks
EJWilkins: This conker was about an inch and a half across, to give you an idea of the size.
I never realised that the Horse Chestnut wasn't a native species. Used to love playing conkers. Now they wear face masks and gloves. We just looked away and yelped if the conker hit our knucklestongue

Love the way you have caught this opening up.
EJWilkins: They've been around for such a long time that few people realise they aren't native. There are actually very few truly native British trees, they're the ones that are homes to loads and loads of insects etc. Oak for example is home for around a thousand species - I think, some very specialised.
We've spent many an hour wandering around with Abbie searching for conkers. She's got quite a collection. Nice image Ellie.
EJWilkins: Apparently a conker in each corner of a room will deter house spiders - a use for some of that collection perhaps?
A cracking photo, Ellie.
EJWilkins: Ta muchly Chad smile
  • blackdog
  • United Kingdom
  • 18 Nov 2008, 14:26
Lots of things I didn't know there and a fine photo as well. Thanks Ellie.
EJWilkins: ANd lots of things I still don't know too Mike wink
super shot Ellie, never seen a conker look so good, well donesmile
EJWilkins: Taking the picture was something of a labour of love, I was determined to get one in the tree and the wind was equally determined I'd fail! I think I just about won the battle wink
Beautiful capture Ellie.
EJWilkins: Thanks Richard
I think this has been taken at the decisive moment ... It's just amazing to think that you were the first person ever to see that emerging conker.

and ... don't the World Conker Championships (or something) take place in Hampshire ....

richard
EJWilkins: In Hampshire? Were they? Goodness me, I didn't know that. I thought it was further north.

I hadn't thought about the rest, that I was the very first person to see this lovely conker. Makes it even more special somehow, especially as the tree's got that awful virus.
  • Alan
  • Southampton, on the sunny south coast of England
  • 18 Nov 2008, 19:56
Good information again, Ellie, and a lovely image. Reminds me of the squirrels on "Autumn Watch" a week or so ago on Brownsea Island getting in to the fruits.
EJWilkins: I didn't watch Autumn watch, even though I'd planned to. Have heard about a little squirrel that stashed loads of conkers in a hollow at the base of a tree though, apparently it was good fun to watch it.
Where is the string?
EJWilkins: Must be tucked up above the nut somewhere in the tree!
Yes, nice picture, good composition.
EJWilkins: Thank you smile
Yes, the good old conker. Could almost have a season attributed to them. Great shot Ellie.
EJWilkins: There probably is, if you move in the right circle of people smile
  • Philine
  • Germany
  • 18 Nov 2008, 21:04
A heavenly close-up! I love those autumn fruits and I collect each year some of them...; your information is very interesting for me (Every day I can learn something!).
Do you know the beautiful poem written by Goethe and translated by Michael Hamburger (English poet, German is his mother language):

On laden twigs of bushes,
There, loved one, to be seen,
The fruit let this uncover,
Spikey, encased and green.

Long clenched they have been hanging
Self-unacquaintedly.
A bough that swaying wanders
Cradles them patiently.

Yet always from within them
The swelling seed has matured,
Longs to be out in the open,
Of sun and air assured.

The casing bursts, and joyful
Each one breaks loose from its trap;
So too my songs are dropping
Profusely into your lap.
EJWilkins: I didn't know that poem Philine, it's perfect. Thanks smile
Interesting story. The detail and textures in the pic are amazing.
EJWilkins: Thanks so much Albert smile
  • Tracy
  • Staffs Moorlands UK
  • 18 Nov 2008, 22:40
Ellie I want the St George flag how did you do it?
EJWilkins: Go to your "my account" and edit "preferences". Choose England as the country. The flag should appear in your profile straight away, it'll take longer to appear next to your name on the blog list. smile
  • martie
  • United States
  • 18 Nov 2008, 22:42
Gorgeous macro!
EJWilkins: Thanks, even though it was about fifteen feet up in the air a bit of careful cropping worked well.
This is a nice close-up Ellie, you must have picked one of the best on the tree.
Lovely one Ellie.
Lovely shot Ellie,brings back memories,we used to soak them in vinegar to try and make them harder, well captured !!
Wonderful serie really !
  • Mike Lee
  • United Kingdom
  • 23 Nov 2008, 22:31
Wow! This one is great.. Love the way the conker is bursting out..!

Leave a comment

must fill in
[stop comment form]
show
for this photo I'm in a any and all comments icon ShMood©
camera E-400
exposure mode aperture priority
shutterspeed 1/80s
aperture f/5.6
sensitivity ISO100
focal length 150.0mm
Tallinn MemorialTallinn Memorial
Autumn FruitsAutumn Fruits
Autumn FruitsAutumn Fruits

Warning