Flower Fairies: Horse Chestnut Fairy

I am still catching up on posts I should have written before Christmas.  We took this nature walk some time in November when we chose to focus on the Horse Chestnut Tree.  These trees tend to line the streets on our way to the woodlands, rather than being in the woodlands themselves.  We spent a happy hour or so looking for treasures to bring home.  Unfortunately we hadn’t chosen the wrong best time of year.  Had we come just two or three weeks earlier we would have been just in time to collect lots of goodies in the form of conkers to be used in a good old fashion game of conkers on a rope.

We did manage to find one or two in various stages of maturity, but in the main they had all been eaten, stored or already picked up by the children of our village.  As well as horse chestnuts we gathered a few leaves, twigs and seeds…and studied them using magnifying glass:

Flower-fairies-horsechestnut

Flower-fairies-horsechestnut-magnify

I think someone knows I’m taking a picture (!):

Flower-fairy-horse-chestnut

We lined up all our goodies:

flower-fairy-horsechestnut-seeds

And then studied them one at a time.  First we studied the leaves:

Flower-fairy-horsechestnut-leaves

The buds:

Flower-fairy-horsechestnut-buds

The seeds, first young in their capsule, where I pointed out the scar or break-lines in the seed:

Flower-fairies-horsechestnut-seed

and then compared them to an old one, realising that those lines are how the conker seed opens and disperses:

Flower-fairy-horsechestnut-seed-scar

We first opened an immature seed by plucking off its coat:

Flower-fairies-horse-chestnut-seed-exterior

The seed was nowhere in sight!  Then we opened a mature one:

Flower-fairy-horsechestnut-open-seed

Flower-fairy-horsechestnut-conker

Flower-fairy-horsechestnut-open-seed-2

Flower-fairy-horsechestnut-seed-cover

We studied seeds/conkers, old and new:

Flower-fairy-horsechestnut-various-seeds

We studied one which had been bitten by a squirrel:

Flower-fairy-horsechestnut-nibbled-conker

I read out to them the Horse Chestnut poem from our Flower Fairy book:

Flowerfairy

After we had finished the girls began to create a fairy using all we had collected, plus some pipe cleaners.  First A7 gathered together all the leaves and tied a pipe cleaner around them to hold them together.  This became the fairy’s skirt, legs and top:

Flower-fairy-horsechestnut-2

She added a head and a set of wings using another couple of leaves:

Flower-fairy-horsechestnut-3

and finally gave her a face and added a hat using a discarded seed cover:

Flower-fairy-horsechestnut-4

Then we used our fairy kit and attempted to recreate the actual Horse chestnut fairy:

Flower-fairy-horsechestnut-fairy

Flower-fairy-horsechestnut-fairy-2

Kind of cute, don’t you think?

All our fairies together:

Flower-fairy-horsechestnut-fairies

This is such a great way to study nature up close 🙂

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