F#46: Mewts/Pond Sirens

Starting mid-February and going on into early spring, waterways across the world come alive with the piping calls of the ‘pond siren’ or ‘mewt’, a freshwater fae.

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Stories tell of the mewt confusing travelers in the dark and tricking them into falling in streams and ditches- if you hear a mewt crying, know that you are by a body of water.

Despite their fishy appearance, mewts are in fact mamals, and breathe out of the water- in the late winter you might spot one coming out to bask in the weak sunlight.

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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#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)

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