Careful observation has led me to believe that tree tops are favoured places for fairies to make their homes, and I have discovered that the oak is a particularly popular location.
The mighty oak lives for hundreds of years and has provided a safe home for many generations of tree fairies; indeed, its leafy foliage makes an excellent shelter for a fairy house…
Clever use of clothing and colour enables tree fairies to ‘disappear’ into the leafy backdrop. Fairy garments
are sewn from leaves and the fairies make new costumes whenever the seasons change.
How to spot a Tree Fairy
I have discovered, to my occasional discomfort, that the more mischievous treetop fairies find it amusing to rain acorns, nuts and berries down upon the heads of unsuspecting humans! My advice: keep your wits about you and wear a sturdy hat during woodland walks.
Use your ears as well as your eyes On windy days the fairies love to perch at the end of branches, enjoying the sensation of the wind blowing all around them. If you listen carefully you might hear their tinkling laughs.
If you are walking by a tree, you may hear a sudden twittering of birds. This could be a warning signal to let the fairies know of your presence. Fairies do not like humans venturing too close to their homes, and their feathered friends know to alert them if we are nearby.
Look up, look up, at any tree!
There is so much for eyes to see:
Twigs, catkins, blossoms; and the blue
Of sky, most lovely, peeping through
Between the leaves, some large, some small,
Some green, some gold before their fall;
Fruits you can pick; fruits out of reach;
And little birds with twittering speech;
And, if you’re quick enough, maybe
A laughing fairy in the tree!
Flower Fairies of the Garden
In the Garden
Flower beds are a perfumed paradise for fairies that desire beauty above all else. Every flower has its own fairy to care for it, which explains why most of my own fairy encounters have taken place in the garden.
Flower Fairies wear outfits fashioned from fallen petals – by dressing to impersonate the flowers that surround them, the fairies may flutter by unseen!
A closed flower may be carefully opened to reveal a sleeping fairy within!
Be alert to the presence of fairies whenever you are in a garden. Even a snail trail may not be quite what it seems. Fairies use sprinklings of fairy dust to mimic these trails when they are travelling around on the ground!
On summer days, some fairies hang their washing out to dry on the webs of friendly spiders. Look out for glistening petals hanging from webs.
Many flowers have useful functions for fairies. Some use them to secure hiding places for precious objects, such as stores of magical dust.
Where are the fairies?
Where can we find them?
We’ve seen the fairy-rings
They leave behind them!
When they have danced all night,
Where do they go?
Lark, in the sky above,
Say, do you know?
It is a secret
No one is telling?
Why, in your garden
Surely they’re dwelling!
No need for journeying,
Where there are flowers,
There fairies are!
Flower Fairies of the Wayside
By the Wayside
The hedgerows, commonly situated by the wayside are very safe places for fairies to live. Their thick, dense greenery contains a wealth of hidey-holes and secret places.
Many countryside hedgerows are hundreds of years old and contain large, established communities of fairies. But, as always, they will do their very best to hide from you!
When you are passing along the wayside, see if you can spot large numbers of butterflies fluttering around. Hedgerows fairies often fly amongst butterflies; they provide an excellent means of concealment while travelling.
Can you see any remnants of nutshells or berries on the ground? These are signs that a fairy feast has recently taken place.
Open your eyes!
To shop, and school, to work and play,
The busy people pass all day:
They hurry, hurry, to and fro,
And hardly notice as they go
The wayside flowers, known so well,
Whose names so few of them can tell.
They never think of fairy-folk
Who may be hiding for a joke!
O, if these people understood
What’s to be found by field and wood;
What fairy secrets are made plain
By any footpath, road, or lane –
They’d go with open eyes, and look,
(As you will, when you’ve read this book)
And then at least they’d learn to see
How pretty common things can be!