Something I've been doing with my kids every fall for the last several years is collect buckeyes from the buckeye trees in our town. (For local friends, they are in front of Log House Craft Gallery on Center Street, don't worry, there are still bunches there!) Sometimes we make projects with them, Laura and I want to make a simple garland this year, but usually we just collect them and enjoy their shiny, irregular ovoid shape. I like to keep one in my winter coat pocket, they feel so nice to hold.
On a bike ride yesterday, we passed by the buckeye trees and noticed that the buckeyes were ready. Today we went for a walk with Laura and her boys to collect some. The quantity that we find varies, last year there were almost none, so I'm happy that this year there's a bountiful crop of buckeyes to enjoy. They have big prickly cases that open when they're ripe.
The shells litter the ground under the trees.
I can't help myself when the buckeyes are ready, I always want to collect more than I will ever need. Laura feels the same way and our kids have picked up this trait as well. Julian thought to bring a bat to whack the stubborn buckeyes out of the trees, but after an errant buckeye hit a passing car, we decided to let them fall on their own and Julian still found plenty... see Avery in the background reaching for one still on the tree?
Eli also found quite a bit, he liked to find one still in their shells, which is more difficult because they usually break open when they hit the ground.
Isaac sat in one spot most of the time and managed to use his sharp eyes to find quite a few buckeyes that were hidden in the grass.
Luckily we had the stroller to haul home our booty as well as two of the tired kiddos. Now, what to do with all these buckeyes? We'll let you know what we come up with.