Webcomic Updates

Episodes three to eight are now on tapas! Click the images below for links to each chapter.

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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#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#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#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

 

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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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