F#45: Feral Faerie

Far from the sophisticated faeries of the otherworld, feral faeries are insect-like and aggressive if approached.

 

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Preferring to stay away from humans, they congregate in remote areas and ancient places where the skin between worlds is at its thinnest.

They’re highly territorial, and will attack if approached. Treat with caution.

Bottled faerie specimen now available on our etsy!

 

 

F#44: Rootball

Apologies for the late post! It’s been rather chaotic at the institute this week, what with it being Widowbird breeding season! Also, we have a stall coming up in Gloucester on Feb 3rd and 4th of interesting artifacts and specimens- so if you’re in the area, come and check it out at the ‘What’s Your Game’ larp fair!

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The rootball is found in damp areas perfect for fungus- woodland, rough ground, even some back gardens. Though essentially harmless, make sure your cat/dog/domesticated griffin doesn’t try and eat one- the mushrooms are usually poisonous.

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F#43: Mottled Cohuatl

SFI recieved a call from a house near the Leywood- someone concerned about a tiny nest in their garden. We get a lot of calls like this- people worry that something dangerous is making a home in their backyard.

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But this time, we were pleased to report, that is not the case. This anxious parent showed up to check that we weren’t up to something with their potential offspring!

This is a mottled cohuatl- the smallest member of the winged serpent family.

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Immediately, the cohuatl lured us away from their nest with a performance of fluttering and acrobatics. As the nest was in a safe location, and the neighbours were reassured that the occupants were friendly, we left them to it.

F#42: The Anomaly

It’s hard to tell which of its unusual features is the most arresting- it’s antlers, the gold marking, thick white fur- or it’s third eye.

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Okay, it’s probably the eye.

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As it’s name would suggest, the Anomaly is little studied and remains a mystery to the parazoology community. They have never been captured, disappearing like smoke once contained- one popular theory is an ability to move between dimensions at will.

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While most assume it is fae in origin, other dare ask- perhaps the anomaly is neither from earthside, or the otherworld. Perhaps there are places beyond our knowledge even yet.

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But for now, we can all agree- ‘Anomaly’ is a fitting name indeed.

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F#41: Sprigs

(Adopt a sprig from our etsy shop! Six available.)

It’s been a busy week at the SFI- festive preparations, major storms and power cuts abound! The greenhouse heater has given up, so some of the more sensitive occupants have come inside.

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Meet the sprigs; a faeries species also known as wandering roses or meadowmaids.

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During the summer months they are often found in the company of bees and other pollinators- so much so that at one time they were thought to be farming the insects.

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In a way, they are- flocks of sprigs will wander towards bee hives for a taste of honey; and, naturally, the bees are drawn to their flowers.

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During the winter, however, cold conditions threaten the survival of these fae creatures.

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And so, we have guests for the festive season, and tiny footprints everywhere. Good luck keeping them out of the chocolate.

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F#40: Fernling

 

This weeks creature can be found in our shop!

A walk to the woods in the mud and rain might not be your idea of a perfect trip- but it’s necessary if you want to find one of these little specimens!

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The fernling: a creature that loves damp weather, and only likes to stretch its roots with a walk when there’s plenty of moisture about.

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This particular specimen wasn’t thrilled to be put in a jar- but due to their reclusiveness and expertise in hiding themselves away; the fernling is one of our least studied native woodland species.

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So, like it or not, he’ll be spending a couple of weeks in the SFI greenhouse, before I release him back to this spot.

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(This week’s creature report was written by Keeley Claremont, SFI botanist)

F#39: Frost Wyrm

(Frost Wyrm on etsy)

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The frost wyrm is a member of the dragon family- one of the smallest, measuring on average only 24cm long.

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These wyrms radiate cold- in lower temperatures, even enough to freeze the spot on which they are perched.

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For this reason they are unpopular with gardeners- woe betide any delicate stem that comes in contacts with the wyrm’s icy touch!

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However, seeing a frost wyrm can be a good sign- a wyrm in a sloe bush means the berries are ready for picking- or so says the old wives tale.

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