Our little home on the mountain has been blessed with a big chestnut tree and every year it rains down on us many chestnut balls...of course if you don't get them almost as soon as they fall the squirrels grab them and steal the chestnuts leaving just the prickly shell. So this year we are trying to be fast and gather the chestnuts whether they are completely open or not and then setting them in the sun so they split and make it much easier to get the nut inside. If you have never seen a chestnut pod, they are extremely prickly and their thorns are very sharp. They go straight through your gloves, but once they split it gives you enough room to squeeze out the nut. The squirrels are fast but this year I am determined to make them share!