F#49: Frond

 

Someone emerged from hibernation too early! The deceptively mild weather earlier this week obviously tempted this little frond out from its winter sleep.

They don’t do so well in the snow, however- the usually shy insectivore was surprisingly eager to come inside to harass our spider population.

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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#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#36: Phoot

Bird feeders watch out! The Phoot is about- and it’s stocking up for the winter!

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During October and November, the phoot consumes nearly three times its body weight DAILY, in preparation for its hibernation from December to march.

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It’s during this time of feasting that you can best hear the distinctive call that gives it its name: ffff-oot! ffff-oot!

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So consider putting extra on your bird table this year- to give the birds a chance.

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F#33: Ornamental Hippogriff (wingless)

(Ornamental Hippogriff on etsy)

First brought to the Britain by the Victorians, the ornamental hippogriff still wanders the grand estate grounds and parkland- and the countryside, as they quickly escaped captivity and flourished independently.

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Unlike their large winged cousins, who thrive in cold climates, this breed of small hippogriff prefers mild winters; they keep their short, soft fur all year ’round and don’t grow the distinctive thick white fur that true hippogriffs are known for.

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Avid insectivores, these creatures are a great solution to garden pests- particularly fond of slugs and caterpillars.

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Due to their association with wealth and land, they often appear on heraldry and in portraits: a symbol of fortune.

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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#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!)

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