In this first picture you can see a chestnut tree with its unique leaves along with the pods that usually contain a cluster of nuts. Below is what happens to the uncollected chestnuts, they turn into little trees. The leaves can turn bright yellow and into a warm brown before they fall.
Here's what you usually find, the pod drops and opens on the ground. It then is a race for the nuts between man and beast. First there are worms that often get in there very quickly and second the wild boar, squirrels, and other mammals find them as delicious as we do.
Did I mention that you should wear gloves for this activity? You should wear gloves! Even these cotton gloves get penetrated, but they are better than the alternative.
Look closely at the nuts for worm holes, if you see them throw it away. You should soak the nuts in water for a couple of days after you clean them off. These uncultivated nuts are much smaller than are available from the shops, but you can boil them and add to a rabbit stew or with sausages, tomatoes and cream to make a pasta sauce.
Oh yeah...this tastes good.