F#32: Woodsprites

(This creature is available for adoption on etsy!)

Woodsprites are there all year round, but it’s in the autumn that their population explodes. That’s when it’s time to gather them up from the overpopulated woods, and spread them out a bit.

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They may be curious and playful, but they aren’t the smartest creatures, and need a hand so that their habitats don’t get crowded out.

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Sprites are gentle nature spirits, and like to spend their time exploring, eating and sleeping. The live on a diet of tree bark, sap and nuts and berries.

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No two sprites look the same, with their own individual markings and features- though some of these do crop up more than others.

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Sprites make for affectionate companions, and will happily adjust to house and garden living.

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They like having new places to explore!

 

 

 

 

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F#31: The Eyes

We took a walk along the coast not far out of Revery to investgate a report of a beached kraken, only to find an empty beach- and something watching us.

Nobody can agree on what the eyes actually are. No one has ever caught one, or touched one- those who have tried have gone mad.

Several religions have claimed them as angels, spirits, prophets and omens. If you get close enough to one, you will hear it whisper- but no one can agree on what the eyes tell them, either. People have heard prophecies, dark secrets, horrifying truths and beautiful lies, the meaning of existence.

What we do know, is that the eyes like to hang out in liminal spaces: empty car parks, petrol stations, abandoned buildings, waiting rooms…

And they watch, and they whisper, and we don’t know why.

F#30: Feral Faeries (Hominus Minimus)

When the faerie and human realms were sealed off from one another by the great Nightwarp storm; what happened to those left behind?

Some, like the Filauny we have covered previously, formed remote and reclusive colonies. Others turned feral: for example Hominus Minimus or the Little Fairy.

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Preserved specimen of  Hominus Folium being handled before framing.

These faeries, once playful and mischievous, suddenly found themselves lost without the guidance of their lost courts; turning scavenger and hunter to survive.

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Hominus Scarabius

These days it’s rare that you’d see faeries like these in the wild- they favour remote places where the skin between worlds is at its thinnest, where they feel closest to their lost people. However, many natural history collections have preserved specimens like the ones you see here, available to study.

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Hominus Mantis

 

Hominus Folium
Hominus Folium

(Like what you see here? These framed fairies are now available on our etsy store!)

F#29: Mosswatcher

If you ever get that neck-prickling feeling of being watched, look down. Odds are, you’ll see a pair of golden eyes peering at you from the grass or verge.File_003

Mosswatchers are a little studied phenomenon; a small, curious beast that seems to have only one hobby- care to guess?

They watch.

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In fact, they have been known to watch for days at a time, and possibly even longer. Some theorise that they acquire their mossy coats from sitting still for weeks, or even month.

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F#28: Hexury

This six legged rodent is an effective harvester, active in hedgerows, farmland, woods and even urban environments from spring to autumn.

Commonly characterized in folklore and stories as greedy and selfish, the hexury is merely an accomplished survivor; weathering even the harshest winters with ease in their secure, cosy ‘pantries’.

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They make their winter home in a variety of places, including rocky crevices, rotten logs and holes in tree roots.

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Once their collection is deemed sufficient, they seal themselves inside with a wall of gathered fur, dry grass, mud and saliva. Once secured, a typical hoard can last up to six months, though rarely is that required.

F#27: Silkwing

Sometimes called ‘cloud mouse’ or ‘false dragon’, the silkwing is delicate creature that is often romantically described as ‘travelling with the winds’.

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As autumn arrives, you’ll see silkwings far more often in the skies along the coast. They’ve flown in from the inland meadows where the spend the summer; riding the strong winds to wheel and gather in flocks of tens to hundreds strong. IMG_5657

Come early October, after a month of socializing and cementing strong flock relationships,  the silkwings migrate to winter in the southern hemisphere.

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Goodbye ’til next summer, cloud mouse.

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F#25: Devilmite

I was eating breakfast when I heard it: a rustling in the pantry. Best case scenario: it was a foraging venomstriker; worst case scenario: I had mice.

Turns out, it wasn’t either of those: when I opened the cuboard; armed with a glass and a roll of newspaper, I found this little guy:

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This is a devilmite, so named for its horned appearance and tendency to steal food. (i.e. Begone, devilmite!)

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It was obviously used to people, and didn’t make a fuss when I took it outside- it even stuck around to suss me out, before scooting over the wall next door (A bakery, where it will probably decimate their stock. Oops.)

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F#24: Domestic Manticore Kitten

‘Beep’ Domesticated Manticore Mardyakhor Mansueti

 There are many reasons why people might rehome a manticore bred by Eliza Knights-Herbert of 23 Rose Street, Revery. Most of these reasons relate back to their finicky personailities, or the ability to dissolve things just by looking at them.

Beep, however, was left with us at the institute because she is blind. Her previous family were displeased with her lack of laser vision, and feared she would no longer be an effective burgalar deterrent- a legitimate concern.

Luckily, Beep has found a new forever home, and will only be staying with us briefly before travelling to Gloucestershire- our resident manticore Percy will miss her.

F#23: Wyrm Hatchlings

Wyrm Hatchlings (Northen European Wyrm) 

Dragon species

When we got the call about an ‘infestation of worms’, we might have reacted a mite too hastily with our stock (polite!) ‘we are a research institute, not Revery Pest Control’ response.




After the miscommunication was cleared up, we arrived at a small garden in the suburbs- only to find these week-old specimens of the European small wyrm causing havoc and destruction in their pursuit of a Sunday dinner.

These dragons are rarely found in built up areas (and almost never in the south of England) and there was no sign of the parent wyrm, who normally feeds young in the nest until they are a month old. It seemed as if the babies had been fending for themselves for a few days- feeding on insects and tearing up the garden in the process.



After a short (but chaotic) pursuit, Evelyn and I caught all three at the same time and took them back to the institute.


They have settled down in the break room in Keeley’s hat, whilst we contact the South West Dragon Centre to see if they have a spare pen…

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