Autumn is in the air. The Red Buckeyes are bejeweled with their luscious, textured seedpods. Soon they'll open and these rich, mahogany seeds will drop to the ground and do their best to ensure continuation of the species. Buckeye seeds appear in late summer in a fig-sized leathery pouch. The dark brown seed are large, smooth and take on a rich luster as they harden and are handled. Wildlife, with the possible exception of squirrels, shun the bitter, poisonous seeds. Squirrels have been hoarding these seedpods long before they reach the stage you see above. This photo was taken in 2005, and since then I've rarely been able to find any seeds themselves. The Red Buckeyes are denuded of seedpods much earlier these days.
An old custom is carrying seed pods in your pocket. Supposedly, the seeds are carried as an old remedy to ward off rheumatism and other assorted ailments. Mostly, they are considered lucky charms. The old saying went "You'll never find a dead man with a buckeye in his pocket." Today, their most likely used sort of like a worry stone - something to roll around in your hand.
I have a little clay bowl of dried buckeyes on my table. They dry into a dark, chestnut brown and get slightly wrinkled. They are beautiful accompaniment to my clay and wooden bowls filled with rocks and flotsam from here and other sites.
The little teal clay bowl to the lower left holds about 7-8 buckeye seeds. The solid reddish rocks are from Wales, the gold & red rock is from our backyard.
This wooden bowl from Valdivia, Chili holds smooth river rocks from around the Southeastern region.
This blue pottery plate from Chili holds fossils and petrified bones from our riverbank, plus some seashells from the Gulf of Mexico. If you think I have a lot of rocks, you should see my seashell collection. And these are just the small rocks. My husband tolerates this obsession and actually brings me rocks from his journeys. My challenge is keeping up with where they came from! I'm not that organized, you see.