Cazenove Road, London, N16

Cazenove Road, London, N16

This heavily pregnant conker was briefly destined for billboard-sized stardom. I found it sitting atop a hedge whilst I searched for suitable subjects to photograph for a commission for a new antenatal unit at Homerton University Hospital. It turned out to be a very suitable subject, and this image initially got chosen to grace a full top-to-bottom wall in the reception area of the new unit.

Disappointingly it was later decided that the wall in question is to remain empty…but all is not lost as there are four other superbly huge walls to be filled with other of my images. However, I love this beautiful shiny conker, ready to burst forth on its own personal life journey, so I’m sharing it here.

As I look at it I imagine what might occur once it has fully emerged from its protective casing. Quite possibly it will take a tumble, falling through the gaps in the hedge upon which it currently rests, bouncing downwards until it crashes onto the pavement below.

And then what might befall it?

Might it be immediately crushed by the footsteps of a passing pedestrian or kicked onto the road to be squished by the wheels of a car? Could its gleaming perfection be noticed by a child who will fix it to a piece of string and fight for it to be crowned ‘Best Conker’? Or will it be taken to a good home, placed on a window sill and admired? Perhaps it will provide sustenance to a hungry squirrel; or could it be one of the lucky ones, could it find its way onto a nourishing patch of soil, germinate and grow into a tall and proud horse-chestnut tree?

Having been considering this conker’s future, I was delighted to discover the similar, yet massively more dramatic emergence and subsequent fall of a Barnacle Goose gosling, whilst watching the new David Attenborough nature documentary – “Life Story”.

Barnacle Geese nest¬†on the very top of exceedingly tall rocky columns in Greenland. This is where the goslings hatch from their shells…only to find themselves just two days later free-falling, their little undeveloped wings spread-eagled, having made a phenomenal leap of faith.

If you haven’t seen this two-minute long bit of tv, then watch it! It’s simply wonderful.

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