I’ve been collecting a lot of seeds/fruits of nature lately and am amazed and curious as to why nature protects some species much more carefully than others?…Take the Horse Chestnut for instance…The conkers are encased in very hard shells covered with nasty little spikes, and as if that’s not protective enough, they’re hung high up on their trees, not within easy reach of picking. It’s almost as if they instinctively know that come Autumn, children (or adults, in my case!) will be pillaging their branches for these precious gems.
I found some extremely fruitful trees at Balnaguard, but they were adjacent to the narrow windy road, so I couldn’t park for long to collect these treasures. I had better luck a few weeks later near my parents’ house at Walnut Grove, just outside Perth, where the conkers had all dropped to the ground, littering the quiet suburban road, allowing me to gather as many as I could carry.
About a week later, I chanced upon a pile of branches at the side of the road near Aberfeldy. I pulled over to take a closer look and noticed that these were Sweet Chestnut, complete with the fruits attached. These are even more spiky, and I was well wounded by the time I had gathered a small stash of them!
These are examples of nature’s armour, prepared to defend itself against human and animal foes, and doing a pretty effective job!
- Could I make a kind of suit of armour using some of these natural materials? Or perhaps one that replicates them on a larger scale?
- On the other hand, should I perhaps be consider making a layer of protection for myself against the more jagged side of nature?
- Could I make an alternative shell to encase these fruits and protect them?
- Why are they being protected?…So that they can scatter and grow into trees, keeping their species in existence for many years to come.
- Could I help by finding a method to sow the seeds, by use of a device I might make, or by audience participation?
- Could I elevate their status by displaying them as baubles, as if they were decorating a Christmas tree, but perhaps finding multiple species of seed pods and hanging them (by invisible thread) from one unrelated tree where they can be seen in public and examined more closely by the public? Perhaps I could invite them to take a “gift” and plant it somewhere safely?
- Could I make pinatas filled with seeds which the participants might whack to scatter the seeds randomly?