We were in South Africa for most of September. See the South Africa 2006 Blog for notes.
When we returned, we found the flowers of summer were gone. In their place, the Colchicum were in full bloom! A few Sternbergia lutea were also in flower, and one lone scape of Crinum variabile was still in bloom. The hardy Hymenocallis occidentalis, that were just starting to bloom when we left, now had a few almost-ripe seeds instead.
In place of flowers, this season offers nuts. The black walnuts are all on the ground, waiting for someone to remove the husks. The English walnuts have long since disappeared, having been found by the squirrels as fast as they dropped.
A shelbark hickory tree dropped a few nuts, which my granddaughter must have found since they were lying on the front steps. Shelbarks are like hardy pecans, but the shells are as hard as a black walnut's. It takes special nutcrackers to crack these, if you want to recover any useful nutmeats from them.
The prize nuts, to me at least, are the Chinese Chestnuts. They are just hitting their stride now, leaving fresh crops on the ground every morning. There are too many of them for the even squirrels to take them all. There are too many of them for us to eat ourselves, too. Since some are wormy, and you can't always detect this before you cook them, we are reluctant to give them away.
Chestnuts, whether Chinese or Italian, can be roasted or boiled. We score the shells first, making an "X" that cuts through the tough skin, so they won't explode when we heat them. Boiled and peeled, they can be frozen for use long after the fresh chestnut season has ended. I prefer them roasted and eaten fresh and hot!