Autumn in a nutshell

The sweet chestnut tree is often confused with the horse chestnut, but the horse chestnut produces a single nut that we used to play conkers with as children, but I am only referring to those of you that are old enough to remember as is now banned in schools. 

Roasted sweet chestnuts are the traditional part of Christmas dinner, although I am not a fan of them.  

When mature they can live for up to 700 years in the UK, although the oldest recorded in the USA was 2,600+ years old.  They reach 40 meters in height.   The massive glossy leaves are about 16-28cm long, 5-9 cm wide and oblong with a pointed tip and a serrated edge. 

The small area where I photographed this shot, is absolutely littered with the fallen spiky cases and the broad leaves carpet the area. Each time I went back to visit, the number of nuts were dramatically reduced as are favoured by birds, squirrels and deer so I knew I had limited time to get my shot.  

It was raining each time I visited too which also presented a challenge keeping the kit dry. But I wanted to try some close up shots and experimented with a few different angles, I settled on this image as I love the diffused colours of the surrounding leaves and the rain drops within the case.  So for me, presents autumn in a nutshell!