As the weather gets colder, we start to see squirrels very busy gathering their winter supplies. This is the best time to learn about nuts and cones because they are everywhere -- if the squirrels don't get to them first!
Along the way, Tiger spotted many opened, prickly husks on the ground full of fallen leaves. Curious to see what the seed or nut inside those may be, we stopped and examined the husks. There were still a few on the trees.
They looked suspiciously like sweet chestnuts, so we looked more closely at those that have fallen on the ground. There were a few nuts still attached to some of the husks we picked up, and they indeed were sweet chestnuts! Wow. There is something very satisfying about being able to find and identify edible food in nature, so all of us started to push away the leaves in order to find more sweet chestnuts that might be hidden under them. We are no experts in the area of foraging at all, which is why this discovery was all the more appealing to us.
Remember, the ground was very damp that day, and was covered with leaves. When Tiger suddenly yelled, "Why is this pile of leaves moving by themselves?" we gathered round to look. Indeed, the leaves seemed to be vibrating and moving slightly. Tiger then turned some leaves over and we saw this: a nest of larvae!!! Yucks!!!
|The larvae are the black 'lines'.|
We ended our day with a plate full of roasted sweet chestnuts:
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