Appalachia Appalachia Through My Eyes

Appalachia Through My Eyes – What Is It 4?

My life in appalachia - I've got eyes like Chinquapins
Can you guess what I’m holding in the photo? I’ll give you 2 clues-its unbelievably poky and it’s not a chestnut.


p.s. The Week Of The Crow will start on Sunday. What is the week of the crow? -Well its a week full of stories, photos, and tidbits about my favorite bird -the crow. And there will even be a giveaway or two.


Appalachia Through My Eyes – A series of photographs from my life in Southern Appalachia.


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  • Reply
    Gaye Blaine
    July 10, 2020 at 10:45 am

    Chinquapin burr. Used to string chinks on a twine strung for a necklace to wear to school to munch on during recess outside. Just a dirt field where we played Mother May I? Hop Scotch. Tag. Ball. Just run and laugh. Chase the boys. Jump Rope. No fancy equipment as is considered “necessary” today for children. Used our imagination.

  • Reply
    December 5, 2012 at 12:43 pm


  • Reply
    B F
    December 5, 2012 at 11:41 am

    a hedge apple??????

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    October 1, 2011 at 5:47 pm

    WOW, and they are big! How interesting! 🙂 too bad I read the last post first now I know it’s a

  • Reply
    September 26, 2011 at 8:35 am

    It’s too big to be a sweet gum ball and it ain’t a chestnut, I have no idea!

  • Reply
    September 25, 2011 at 9:28 am

    I have seen the thing you have in the picture but don’t know what it is. I am interested to find out. Also, I never think about crows that I don’t think about Heckle and Jeckle in the comics. Used to read them all the time when I was a child.

  • Reply
    Mary Rutherford
    September 24, 2011 at 12:30 am

    First thought: an Irish Hedgehog. It reminds me of a mock orange. I have used chips of the wood to dye wool before.

  • Reply
    Sherie Rowe
    September 23, 2011 at 9:58 pm

    A chinquapin burr, definitely!

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    janet pressley
    September 23, 2011 at 8:25 pm

    Is it a chinkapin? Nana

  • Reply
    September 23, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    Tipper, I want to say something about crows (which is not exactly a response to this post, but….)
    I have heard that crows are really smart, very bossy, and that they hoard shiny objects. I don’t know first-hand about any of those things. What I do know is that the collective noun for a group of crows is called a “murder.”
    A murder of crows woke me very early a few days ago. They were Very Unhappy about something, though I couldn’t tell what. Because they woke me so early, I felt like “murdering” them! Not really, but they were so bothersome for such long time, an hour or more.
    I’m looking forward to reading your posts about crows. And what I’d most like is to find a young one and raise it.

  • Reply
    Paulette Tonielli
    September 23, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    I thought it was a Chinese chestnut burr – I do know it’s definitely not a hedge apple (Osage orange), which is common in the midwest. hedge apples are grapefruit-sized and lacking the spines. The old-timers say they keep out mice and bugs – never worked for me…

  • Reply
    lynn legge
    September 23, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    i too thought it was a buckeye .. but also didnt know if what is inside is green and smooth.. they call them monkeyballs around here.. seriously.. and like someone else said…. they are to deter spiders .. my mom used to have me stop along side the road and pick them up. cant wait to see what answer you have.. and had to laugh about the tribble.. lol
    my hubby is a big star trek fan
    sending big ladybug hugs. this dreary rainy day

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    September 23, 2011 at 5:50 pm

    Tipper–I’ve found a lot of the answers interesting and will comment on them a bit.
    1. Buckeyes have a smooth-skinned hull or husk somewhat like that on a pecan or hickory nut, so that guess is wrong. Also, Jim (another one) mentioned eating buckeyes. I don’t think so. They are quite poisonous, and least for cattle, and I certainly don’t think it would be wise the sample them.
    2. Sweet gum balls aren’t nearly as big as what you show and while they have lots of spur-like extrusions, they are not sharp.
    3. Hedge apples (or Osage oranges, or bodoc fruit) are much larger and have no stickers.
    4. Sycamore balls are smooth and fuzzy and much smaller.
    So it ain’t a buckeye, Osage orange, sycamore ball, or sweet gum ball.
    If it is a chinquapin, it is by far the biggest burr I’ve ever seen, and I still think it looks exactly like a Chinese chestnut.
    Ken, I appreciate your faith in my botanical knowledge, and I reckon I’ve got a decent layman’s store of it, but Tipper has flat out got me mystified on this one. I’m virtually it is a plant of the castanea genus, but the only ones I know that grow in the mountains are the American chestnut, Chinese chestnut (introduced), and chinquapin.
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    September 23, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    Chinquapin burr. We used to take bags of chinquapins to eat during the high school football games. Way better than peanuts.

  • Reply
    September 23, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    As for Scrooch, we used that one too, but mostly the scrage one! I have heard the scraf one too! Interesting, these words we use!!

  • Reply
    September 23, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    I don’t know what it is!

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    Wanda in NoAla
    September 23, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    We call them hedge apples around here, and some people call them osage oranges. People put them in their house because they are supposed to deter insects.

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    David Templeton
    September 23, 2011 at 2:15 pm


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    Kent Lockman
    September 23, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    My guess is the same as some of the others here. I think it is a chinquapin burr. Got a friend to check your granny’s pear preserves recipe. She just put up some pear spread. I think I have you a new reader, Tipper.

  • Reply
    September 23, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    If Jim hadn’t had a previous
    engagement and was able to attend
    brother Don’s birthday party
    nestled in the beautiful woods of
    Deep Creek last Saturday, he would
    know exactly what that thing is.
    About all the folks there was
    stumped too.
    You have a way of bringing up so
    many interestings things…Ken

  • Reply
    September 23, 2011 at 11:19 am

    Green sweetgum ball or sycamore ball?

  • Reply
    Laurie Stone
    September 23, 2011 at 10:44 am

    On Bent mountain in Mercer County we called them Chinky-Pins. My cousins and I would have the “awfullest” chink-pin battles you ever did see when we were kids. Someone always went away crying!

  • Reply
    Kimberly Burnette-Dean
    September 23, 2011 at 10:12 am

    hmmm…would have thought that it was an American chestnut burr. You have me stumped! 🙂

  • Reply
    September 23, 2011 at 9:55 am

    I almost have to argue on that’n, I gots a whole yard full of them critters, use to have three of them trees till storms back in 96 took care of two of them, got one left. Good shade tree. That burr will have about 3 or 4 nuts in it depending on how big it gets. Well if it ain’t a chestnut, maybe its a buckeye, come to think of it the nuts that are in that burr are dark brown and they have what looks like a light brown eye on one side, when you peel off the hull and eat the nut it taste like a sweet potatoe, to me anyway. We’ve always called them chestnuts down here, but if its not that, I would guess its a buckeye. My wife was goin to roast some up in the oven when we first got married, and they blew up. I guess we should have peeled them first.

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    Pat in east TN
    September 23, 2011 at 9:18 am

    I don’t have a clue either if it’s not a chestnut. I’m anxious for next week … I also like crows.

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    September 23, 2011 at 9:16 am

    Don’t have a clue; but it looks cool! Have a great weekend Tipper!

  • Reply
    September 23, 2011 at 8:55 am

    looks kind of like green sycamore ball but not quite. so no clue.

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    B. Ruth
    September 23, 2011 at 8:43 am

    Burrrrrr….uh, of the chestnut type maybe a chinkapin….
    I just hate to have to eat crow…ha
    Thanks Tipper,

  • Reply
    September 23, 2011 at 8:31 am

    Thanks for the memories. I had not seen a chinkepin in years. Was told they were blighted out many years ago. We used to love eating them in the fall when they pop open. Over 75 years ago. Also roam the hills of s.w. Va. and found all kinds of things people today never hear about. We found a huge huckleberry patch we visited a lot. Did you ever see teaberries? Talk about something flavorful. I don’t know if this will go . I don’t do facebook , ect. none of that. kate

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    September 23, 2011 at 8:22 am

    Well, it’s green like the grass in the picture and it has a stem so it must be a live plant of some kind.
    I think it’s a prickly green flower. You better put it in water before it wilts! LOL

  • Reply
    Janet Smart
    September 23, 2011 at 8:20 am

    Don’t know, but awaiting for your answer. It reminds me a little of the ‘tribbles’ on the old Star Trek TV show that took over their ship :o)

  • Reply
    September 23, 2011 at 8:20 am

    This looks like a failed attempt at a cross pollination beween a chinkapin and a kiwi-fruit.
    That can’t be right I know but, I hate it when I’m stumped.
    I haven’t a clue what that thang is Tipper but, I bet it would be the devil peel.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    September 23, 2011 at 8:01 am

    Is it a buckeye?

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    Uncle Al
    September 23, 2011 at 7:50 am

    I haven’t a clue if its not a chestnut. Anxiously awaiting the revelation.

  • Reply
    Karen Larsen
    September 23, 2011 at 7:49 am

    Yup– Chestnut. Or something masquerading as one!

  • Reply
    Bill Burnett
    September 23, 2011 at 7:47 am

    Some spell it Chinkapin, a member of the Chestnut family genus Castanea, but then I could be wrong. But it brings back a memory, my Dad was a great joker and was always throwing stuff to me then yelling catch (to improve my hand-eye coordination), one day I found a Chestnut Burr and threw it to him and yelled catch, well he caught it but failed to see the humor of the situation as they are easier to catch than to turn loose.

  • Reply
    Rick Kratzke
    September 23, 2011 at 7:44 am

    Sorry, don’t have a clue?

  • Reply
    Debby Brown
    September 23, 2011 at 7:34 am

    not a chestnut? Thats what I thought it was, so I’m real eager to find out what that thing is. My only other guess would be to call it an E.T.

  • Reply
    Bill Burnett
    September 23, 2011 at 7:31 am

    Wouldn’t be a Chinquapin burr would it?

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    September 23, 2011 at 7:23 am

    Tipper–I would have wagered a $5 bill that this was a chestnut burr (or, more likely, a Chinese chestnut burr)with the bloom tassel from spring still attached. In fact, I could head out to my yard right now and take a photo which would look just like it. I know of nothing else from nature with a comparable burr (well, a chinquapin is similar but in much smaller form).
    I guess I’ll just have to wait until I get an answer.
    Jim Casada

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