Saturday, 29 September 2007

Conkers and Moths

One of the high points of Autumn for any child is collecting conkers. My boys loved them when they were younger although they never played conkers as much as I did when I was at school.

They don't go out looking for them anymore but I still do.

I will keep these in the bowl for a few days just to enjoy them and then when I am sure they are quite dry they will be put amongst woollen jumpers to repel moths. I've been doing this for years but haven't been able to find any scientific reason why it should work. Maybe it doesn't work and I've just been lucky to avoid moths.

In a few days I will be replacing last years conkers with the new ones and cleaning out the chests of drawers. Apparently moth infestation is happening more frequently these days mainly because a greater proportion of our clothing is made from natural fibres than a few years ago.

I've always used conkers but lavender and Cedar oil are also thought to help. I have some dried lavender so perhaps I'll add that as well to be sure.


Heather said...

I loved the picture! My sister and I LOVED collecting horse-chestnuts when we were kids. We filled our red wagon with them and played with them for days. i had never heard of using them as a moth repellant -- sounds good.

the flour loft said...

Hi Willow,
My mother in law used to put conkers in the corners of the room, aparently to keep spiders away. I rather like spiders though.
I remember making a hole in the conkers and hanging them on a string and then playing conkers with a friend which i understand is forbidden at many schools these days due to health and safety..
Have a lovely Sunday.

Wild Rose said...

I love going out to collect conkers, although there seems to be a shortage of them this year...I think that the squirrels got there first!

Marie x

Jenny said...

I adore conkers, the colour, the shine, the smoothness. I also like to find them still half in their shell, they always fit so snugly.

tash said...

There are lots of rituals that have some kind of sympathetic "magic" attached to them - any fruit of a tree (especially those typically important trees) were thought to be embued with power (can't you tell I've been reading a garden-folklore book?).

I haven't collected any recently though I feel a visit to one hunting ground coming on. I haven't ever tried putting them in amongst clothing. We tend to use lavender bags, I have sheafs of of lavender waiting to be bagged for that purpose. I love the smell, our wardrobe is quite quite heady!

Simply Authentic said...

I love this because a) currently there are tons of things falling all over the streets onto cars where I am now living and b) I have moths in my apartment and had been wondering what to do to get rid of them so they don't destroy my wardrobe! Perfect timing as always!

willow said...

Thanks for the comments.

I used to play conkers at school, I remember my brother trying to get really tough conkers by soaking them in vinegar and baking them in a low oven. It was always a popular activity in the playground for a few weeks a year but I have also heard of schools banning it for safety reasons.

Jenny, I know what you mean about taking fresh conkers from their casing, when I was little I thought it was magic that I was the first person in the world to see that particular conker - in fact I still think a bit like that today!

Tash, I will be using lavender as well this year, conkers could never be described as fragrant.

simply authentic, I hope they work for you. If they are just a moth deterrent I'm not sure how they would work if you've already got moths, maybe Cedar oil or lavender as well?

Poshyarns said...

I never heard the conker thing before, but shall try it as we certainly have conkers to spare. There are several bowls filled already and each trip to the washing machine reveals pockets filled with more (sometimes, of course, I forget to empty the pockets before they go in the wash, sigh).