A conker
is the hard, shiny dark brown nut 
of a Horse Chestnut tree.

I've always loved conkers
The way they hang on the tree in their spiky green capsules

and when they ripen,
the gorgeous, shiny, rich brown nut
appears and falls to the ground.

Every part of the conker is beautiful and harmonious,
even the inner capsule.

Some years ago,
I planted a conker and a wonderful horse-chestnut tree
started to grow.
I put it in a huge pot on my balcony
and every year it grew taller and more beautiful.
It grew taller than me and started to touch the top of the balcony.
One year, it gave flowers and I was hoping to get my own conkers.
but they didn't develop.
 The following year,
a very late frost killed my tree already covered in fresh leaves.
Maybe one day, I'll plant another conker and watch a new tree grow.

Just to explain a slightly confusing issue:

Conkers come from the Horsechestnut tree Aeseculus hippocastanum
 and are inedible.

Chestnuts come from the Sweet Chestnut tree Castanea sativa
 and are edible.


Extra Note:
Artist, Clare Willcocks
kindly asked me if she may paint a picture of one of my conker photographs
She has done a very good job of it here:


  1. Beautiful photos again. I love autumn.
    Tomorrow I will show off my new wool hat for my youngest.
    I took the photos this afternoon. I love the colors the blueberries get in autumn.
    Not the berry it self but the little bush it grows on.
    Have a perfect Sunday evening.

  2. Lovely fall photos! I'll admit when you mentioned conkers on my blog, I had to look that up! I've seen one one horse chestnut tree and was fascinated by it's beauty.

  3. Lovely pictures! Those spiky green shells look so funny! It certainly is that time isn't? Today, as the wind was blowing pretty hard, acorns were coming out of the trees like crazy! I was scared walking underneath them!
    Kate :}

  4. You have totally captured the essence of conker in these images. I adore them too, and never fail to be disappointed when their gloss is gone.

  5. I was surprised to see your post on "conkers" as we call these "buckeyes". I don't know where the name came from but I have one buckeye that my Mom found on a trip to Pennsylvania. We also make some chocolate covered peanut butter ball candy that we call buckeyes but now I will be calling them conkers! Love the photos! Beautiful as always!

  6. I love the name "conkers." The outer shell looks lethal. By the looks of the leaves, it's fall there. Here too - aspens have turned golden. We're going to Denver tomorrow to finish packing - the movers come the 23rd.

  7. This is lovely. It seems very with hazelnut.


  8. Mother Nature is pretty wonderful, isn't she???
    So unusual, and so very beautiful, Sandra.

  9. What a heartbreaking end to your lovely conker story! They are so beautifully shiny ... if I were a baby I would surely want to put one in my mouth. :)

    I have to admit I was hoping for a photo of conker strings. (Does anyone still play with those?)

    Gorgeous post as always!

  10. We made pipes of the conkers whem we were young, and pretended that we smoked....:-)
    Lovely post Sandra.
    All the best to you !

  11. I just adore your photography Sandra. YES . . .do it . . . grow another tree! xxxx

  12. Your photos are amazing. I've always wanted to plant a conker - maybe this year! Autumn has so much to offer.

  13. Beautiful pictures Sandra, I love conkers!

  14. Ah conkers - so many good childhood memories!

  15. I always wondered what they were. Thank you for informing me.

  16. Funny, I have never heard them called conkers before! These beautiful little chestnuts take me back to my a little girl, I used to collect them while out at school recess, then I'd take them home and polish them up. So sorry that your tree didn't survive, I think you should definitely try again. Lovely images filled with gorgeous color and light!

  17. Beautiful macros of these lovely chestnuts! I love their shine and rich brown color. I saw a number of these in the parks in D.C. last week. I hadn't heard the term conkers either.