What do babies and walnuts have in common?

On hearing the news of the latest addition to our family, (a baby boy weighing in at almost 10lbs just after 5am this morning), I’m once again marvelling at the wonder of it all.  So where do the walnuts come in?  Well, having a walnut tree overhanging the garden, and with the recent high winds, I’ve been collecting like crazy because the young walnut, protected by a smooth casing, is a wonderful example of what a baby’s brain looks like pre-birth at around 6 months gestation with convolutions developing in the first few months after birth.  The walnut is therefore a wonderful a visual reminder of the fact that a newborn’s brain is unfinished at birth.  Then, as the baby receives stimulation from the outside world, the brain’s 100 billion brain cells start to make connections and the brain develops more crevices and creases.   And, even more amazingly, when there are so many connections and the baby’s brain continues to make even more, extra room is needed.  So, the brain crumples in on itself and ends up resembling the whole walnut which can be seen if carefully released from inside the outer shell, complete with 2 hemispheres!  Off now to take some pictures to add to the site so you can see what I mean and to collect even more before all the walnuts are snaffled by local squirrels!

UPDATE….  these are the walnuts from the garden showing the three stages………

They taste really good too!

Walnut fruitWalnut huskWalnut kernel


For more information on our incredible brain visit Youramazingbrain.org.  (Many thanks to Veronica Lawrence for the update).