Back in Portland after a month working in Juneau followed by a week in South Carolina low country and Finn couldn’t wait to get back to the playground. I was excited to see a few of the tell-tale signs of Fall along the way including some freshly fallen, thorn armored, horse-chestnuts. When we got to the Couch Park playground which is built around a giant HC tree we began collecting the thorny treasures, stomping on them and then stashing a cache of the auburn nuts for the neighborhood squirrels. Before long a horde of kindergarten kids from the school dumped out onto the playground and we realized that the annual dropping of these things is quite an event. Boy were the kids surprised by our collection. While the kids horded and fought over the nuts, I took an interest in the discarded husks. I’ve always admired these little thorny beauties, previously mistaking them for the orb-like seeds of the ginko tree. Here are a few of my finds.