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#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#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#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#16: Butterfly Dragon (Draconis Papilionem)

Name: Butterfly dragon (Draconis Papilionem)

Classification: Fauna

Designation: Neutral

Notes: A standard feature of greetings cards, the butterfly dragon is a shy creature that prefers a warmer climate and plenty of fruit and nectar. A great place to spot them is an orchard after the first windfalls; descending in large flocks to feast on the fruit and bask in the sunshine.

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Wild cherries are another favourite food.

Many attempts have been made to domesticate this member of the dragon family, but aside from a butterfly dragon perching on your hand there is not much chance of this.

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They are not a species that thrives in captivity; well known to ‘fade’ both literally, their bright colours becoming dull, and figuratively, a greatly reduced lifespan. It’s far better to watch them in your garden, and wait for them to return the following summer.

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Entry Complied by: Keeley Claremont

F#12: Puffmote

 

Name: Luminous Puffmote, Airbag Salamander*

Classification: Fauna

Designation: Neutral

Description: A Fully-grown male puffmote measures from 2-5cm long (nose to tail) with a dark coloured body and lighter, bioluminescent markings.

A Female or ‘Queen’ puffmote has a longer, snakelike body. She is typically white, with darker markings, and a more defined crest or ‘crown’.

*Misnomer, puffmotes are unrelated to salamanders

Notes: puffmotes emerge from sleep in the late afternoon; often to be found hovering around flowers in sun-warmed places. The ones you’ll see in the daylight are typically the males, collecting nectar which is then stored in an internal pouch.

The puffmote Queen anchors herself to a plant stem, and is much harder to spot during the day. However, at night she is far more noticeable.

Often mistaken for the light of a glow worm or firefly, puffmote have bioluminescent markings. Males have a small glowing crest, and markings down to their tails. Queens have a bright crown and body spots, which they use in a ‘dance’ to attract mates.

 

Entry compiled by: Thursday Madaki

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