You may have noticed a lot of tree seeds around at the moment – it’s a bumper year for acorns, beech nuts, hawthorn berries, chestnuts, hazelnuts and other tree seeds.

This is a natural phenomenon, but you might be interested to learn a little bit about why it happens. Trees don’t produce seeds every year. When they do, it’s called a mast year and the idea is that they will produce lots, all at the same time and they coordinate it so that all of the trees in the same area will seed simultaneously.

This year is a mast year, but it’s an unusually big one, and this is probably down to the summer we just had. Record high temperatures and low rainfall has put trees under stress, which has encouraged them to generate seeds as a way of making sure their genes survive. It’s a very expensive exercise for the trees – they put a huge amount of energy into making seeds, but the idea behind it is that if there are so many seeds there will be more that don’t get eaten and will therefore germinate.

It’s the same principle as salmon spawning in their thousands and cicadas hatching all at once… and another example of why trees are really, really cool. 🌳

trees #EveryoneNeedsNature

Love Caz x

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Trees. Nature. Autumn.

Put kettle on, Polly! (Note the importance of the English comma).

Just my cuppa tea!

Put kettle on, Polly! Pull up your chair, I have bought myself a little piece of ‘ancient china’ ~ cast iron kettle and a delightful teapot. Both can be used as a kettle, or a teapot. How-very-clever.

History

Cast iron teapots were originally created in ancient china. They were then adopted and developed by the Japanese in the 17th century into practical, as well as decorative handicraft items sold under the name of “Tetsubin”. The cast iron teapots and kettles symbolise the everlasting strength and unity of the world, and the more intricate pots are often given as gifts and kept as status symbols.

Kettles:

Traditional handmade Japanese cast iron kettles are normally bigger than the teapots, and are not enamelled on the inside. These units are made based on the old tradition of boiling water separately in a Tetsubin and pouring the water onto tea leaves in a separate teapot. These units are therefore made from cast iron and do NOT come with a strainer, as this is a later adaptation to western customs.

Teapots:

Through special treatments, impurities are removed from the cast iron during the production process. A coating of misty black enamel is then applied to help prevent the formation of rust. Due to their strength of construction these teapots may be used as kettles (to boil water) or as tea pots (to brew tea). Most sizes come with a stainless steel mesh infuser (to brew loose tea). If using the pot to boil water this infuser should be removed before doing so.

Wow. I’ve learnt something new today. Hope you have, too?

I’m a collector of teapots. Mostly bone-china. However, I’m thrilled with my recent cast iron purchases: a little extra knowledge goes a long way.

Tea time. Kettle’s boiling… atop my cast log burner. Life is cosy in my slice of paradise in Brixham Bay.

Enjoy the day, folks. Stay safe.

Caz x

My kindle books, set in picturesque Brixham Bay – can be downloaded here

Teapots. Kettles. Ancient China.

Conker, meaning “knockout”

The game of Conkers dates back as far as 1821, when the first ever recorded game was played on the Isle of Wight in 1848. In 1965 the first world Conker Championships took place in Ashton, Northamptonshire, which still continue on the second Sunday of October-raising thousands of pounds for charity each year.

Regionally, Conkers are also known as obblyonkers, cheggies or cheesers. In D.H. Lawrence’s book “Sons and Lovers”, the game is referred to as cobblers by William More. The name may come from the dialect word Conker, meaning “knock out”.

Autumn has arrived:

Remembering my younger days growing up in the fifties, Conkers and Marbles were the highlight of outdoor fun. Wonderful times. The great outdoors. No television. Mobile phones, and certainly no internet. Thankfully, I have so many memories of growing up in the 50s…

Autumnal ~ Conkers ~ Horse-chestnut Trees