I think we had a brief discussion of horse chestnuts, Aesculus hippocastanum, recently.  They aren’t really chestnuts at all — you can read about them here — but they are known as hestekastanje (hest being the word for “horse”) in Norwegian too.  The driveway up to our neighbour’s farm is an avenue of horse chestnut trees whose branches meet at the top to form a tunnel:

The avenue is just over three hundred metres (or yards) long.  It climbs a hill, and it’s a distinctive and lovely feature of our local landscape.  The leaves of the chestnut trees are just starting to turn, as you can see below:

Here it is from the top end looking downwards, an enormous caterpillar creeping up the hill:

Here is a horse chestnut leaf cluster; they’re very distinctive, with five leaves, almost like a bunch of bananas:

This morning, on the far side of the avenue, we let the actual horses out to graze.

They aren’t used to being in the stables all night and when they first come out they canter round the field a few times.

And have a carrot.

In the background is the chestnut avenue:

Last Sunday, I bought a chestnut of my own.  It’s only about eight feet high:

I’ve planted it to cover up the black hole at the edge of the spruce forest to the north of our house.  It’ll only take about thirty years.

Yes, it’s October!  My favourite time of the year, when everything is 70% off at the nurseries and they’re deserted (I hate crowds).  My chestnut tree was only 180 kroner (£18, $US30, possibly 120 Arg. pesos or 22 euros ); I got lots of smaller green things too, including a Magnolia bush:

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