Convergence

The organism on the left is a Green Urchin with the cumbersome name of Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis. The image on the right shows the seed-pod of a European Chestnut, Castanea sativa. I have always been struck by their outward similarities. Several evenings ago we noticed that the deer were mingling beneath the chestnuts as they made their way between pasture and woods. Because I know that deer enjoy chestnuts every bit as much as we do I thought I’d better check the trees because I didn’t want the deer making off with the entire crop. Sure enough, the next day when I checked, I found nuts, empty seed-pods, and full pods scattered on the ground. I got myself a stout pair of gloves (like urchin spines those of the chestnut seed-pod are notorious for their ability to penetrate the skin) and proceeded to gather a gallon of nuts. Into the freezer they went to halt the development of weevil larvae if they were present. These delicious nuts will be used to make roast goose stuffing come holiday season. You may be aware that the gonads of both male and female urchins are considered a delicacy in many parts of the world. Having eaten both urchin roe and chestnuts I can report that, in the opinion of my entirely uneducated palate, the latter are superior (in every possible way) to the former.

9 thoughts on “Convergence

  1. Ahhh, chestnuts! I can still feel those nasty barbs in the softest part of my feet when I was careless and tread too close to the chestnut trees! I had a dream last night than another powerful storm rocked the farm and left half its trees bent at 90 degrees. Weirdness.

  2. I’ll put my thinking cap on for “artistic” places to photograph around here. Some of the leaves have started to turn on my dogwoods and the hydrangeas are a lovely shade of purple …

  3. Triplets!! 🙂 Chestnuts bring me back to my childhood. I remember seeing their shiny, smooth brown exteriors and collecting as many perfect specimens as my palm could hold. I even kept one in my pocketbook for good luck! Love the brown contrasted with the green. Very pretty. I read that another follower suggested you make some greeting cards/stationery from your pics. I agree!

      • Williston Road a million years ago. Now you can find them all the way up and down Beacon Street and also on Lake Street near me.

        • Ah. Ok. You’ll have to be thinking of some places for quick photo-shoots for next week. Since I won’t be able to blog about things of rural concern while visiting I’ll have rely on the art aspect. Make a list.

  4. Neat! It is quite a good protection strategy. I was not aware that urchin roe is a delicacy, but I will take your word and pass on it and stick to the chestnuts. Perhaps I should just look this up on Google, but is there a difference between chestnuts and horse chestnuts? How long do you have to put them in the freezer to kill the weevils?

    • Yes … Horse Chestnuts are something altogether different … you’ll have to ask the Boss for a technical (botanical) distinction. Nuts of the Horse Chestnut are not edible! D

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