F#47: Unidentified (Keeley wants to call it Flufferus Pufferus, please don’t let that happen.)

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Keeley found this in the woods just outside of Revery (whilst she was on a routine trip to tag some migratory nightshade plants) and…well, we have no idea what it is.

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If it’s a newly discovered entity, that would unfortunately mean she gets to name it- and she’s planning to go with ‘Flufferous Pufferous’, which is a terrible idea and must be stopped.

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So I, Jesper Beattie, beseech you: do you recognise this creature? It seems to be young, and unable to fly much yet- we’re searching for a nest it might have fallen from.

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(Whippet pictured for size)

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#37: Hamadryad

The Hamadryad is a subspecies of dryad, itself a type of nymph.

Thoroughly documented by the ancient Greeks, hamadryads dwell within trees.

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Though they have a physical form, they are born bonded to their one particular tree, and may never leave it.

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Should the tree die, the hamadryad dies with it- and vice versa.

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Like many nymphs, hamadryads enjoy music and dancing, though they are more reclusive and shy than other species.

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This particular specimen is the hamadryad of a cherry tree. Like its host’s winter branches it now looks bare and stick-like. Come spring, tiny blossoms will begin to sprout along its limbs.

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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

 

Hominus Folium
Hominus Folium

(Like what you see here? These framed fairies are now available on our etsy store!)

F#25: Devilmite

I was eating breakfast when I heard it: a rustling in the pantry. Best case scenario: it was a foraging venomstriker; worst case scenario: I had mice.

Turns out, it wasn’t either of those: when I opened the cuboard; armed with a glass and a roll of newspaper, I found this little guy:

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This is a devilmite, so named for its horned appearance and tendency to steal food. (i.e. Begone, devilmite!)

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It was obviously used to people, and didn’t make a fuss when I took it outside- it even stuck around to suss me out, before scooting over the wall next door (A bakery, where it will probably decimate their stock. Oops.)

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F#24: Domestic Manticore Kitten

‘Beep’ Domesticated Manticore Mardyakhor Mansueti

 There are many reasons why people might rehome a manticore bred by Eliza Knights-Herbert of 23 Rose Street, Revery. Most of these reasons relate back to their finicky personailities, or the ability to dissolve things just by looking at them.

Beep, however, was left with us at the institute because she is blind. Her previous family were displeased with her lack of laser vision, and feared she would no longer be an effective burgalar deterrent- a legitimate concern.

Luckily, Beep has found a new forever home, and will only be staying with us briefly before travelling to Gloucestershire- our resident manticore Percy will miss her.

Fl#04: Mushroom Men

Beware you mushroom gatherers

Whose food in woodland grows

Beware the fungus watchers

When crossing rotten groves

 

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The mushroom men have seen you

That fact you must assume

So take your feast and quickly leave

The watchers in the gloom

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And draw across your curtains

When you are home tonight

Don’t look outside until the dawn-

For mushrooms fear the light.


Jesper’s note: So says the poem- and the mushroom men have been known to follow home those who harvest the fungi they watch over in woodland areas. However, there is no evidence that they ‘fear the light’- they are simply nocturnal.

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F#20: Hekbune

Hekbune- Filauny Male

Fae


For the past couple of days Percy, our resident manticore, has been very interested in the little courtyard garden at the back of the institute. It took us humans a while to catch on- we were being watched.


This is our second encounter with a member of the reclusive filauny species, and after a patient couple of hours of Evelyn and I sitting outside and trying not to look threatening, he finally came out from behind the plant pots.



He introduced himself as Hekbune, still clutching a tiny slate knife and shaking a bit, and said he’d come to thank us for offering assistance to his little sister on her pilgrimage.

So we offered him a cup of tea, and got him to put down the knife (Jesper also offered him a piece of that shortbread Mrs T makes for him and he uses as a doorstop. Jesper is no longer allowed at diplomatic meetings).


We asked Hekbune to tell us more about his people, but he was unconvinced.

However, he said, he would talk to his elders and see what they thought about us meeting them.

He did say that Minluth had been successful on her journey, and is now a fully-fledged clan member.



We offered him a tour of the institute, and he seemed intrigued- but when we took him to the archives he didn’t even make it across the threshold before he backed out, his hands shaking, muttering about ancient evil.

Looks like the archives could do with another cleansing ritual…

F#17: Seafoam Dragon

Seafoam dragon (Draconis Nausicaa)

Aquatic fauna

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The seafoam dragon is native to the Mediterranean sea, but this one showed up in Revery Harbour after a massive storm- she must have been blown off course.

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This small aquatic dragon has long webbed forefingers, perfect for breaking open tightly closed shellfish and mollusks. They breathe both underwater and out of it, and lay their eggs in the sand like turtles. A clutch normally consists of five, one to three of which are expected to hatch. Once all the surviving eggs hatch, the parent leads the hatchlings to the water, and they stay in the sandy shallows for a few days before venturing further out.

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Entry compiled by: Jesper Beattie

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