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Posts tagged ‘fairy’

A Friendly Face in the Trees

“The universe is full of magical things, patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.” —Eden Phillpotts

On a walk through some wonderful Florida woods recently, we were visited by an exceptionally personable squirrel — even after realizing we had no food to offer, his quirky and friendly presence captivated us for quite some time.

I thought he was a nice beginning to a short week — so happy and relaxed in his beautiful trees — and sure to bring a smile.

Perhaps I can see better like this…



Done with you, human. Time for my nap!

And in honor of this most adorable and friendly critter: Fairies tending to their squirrel!

John Anster Fitzgerald, “The Wounded Squirrel”

A Luminescent Florida Leopard Frog (And a Few Fairy Frogs)

Hand in hand, with fairy grace, Will we sing, and bless this place. —William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream

As we hiked the Apoxee Trail in the Grassy Waters Preserve, it was often flooded — pictures forthcoming, because wading through 4-6 inches of swamp / marsh waters in the Florida Everglades is always an adventure! My most worried comment, 2 hours into the trail: “Errr, it appears as though these waters are now even with the swamp.”

But everywhere I looked, itsy-bitsy cricket frogs were jumping about the trail, and these lovelies were hiding in the vegetation and waters. He’s a Southern Leopard Frog (Rana sphenocephala), common to the marshes, swamps, and cypress swamps of our area. The frogs range from dark brown to bright green. Apparently, the existence of a subspecies — the Florida Leopard Frog (Rana utricularia sphenocephala) — is debated among the experts.

Their colors are pure brilliance, with luminescent greens flashing here and there. There were so many frogs I wanted to photograph, but it was tricky nabbing them as they leapt into the waters or darted into the undergrowth. Just magical. So naturally I had to include one of my favorite children’s illustrators — Ida Rentoul Outhwaite — and her more famous images of frogs and fairies.

Nature’s colors, intensity, and variations continue to amaze — may your weekend be equally as spectacular and magical as this brilliant but diminutive frog!

Florida Leopard Frog: Hello, lovely… Please don’t jump

Florida Leopard Frog: Ready to dart. Those colors, pure amazement…

Ida Rentoul Outhwaite, “Frog and Fairy Talking”

Ida Rentoul Outhwaite, “They stood full in front of her….”

A Marsh Rabbit Baby, and a Few Fae

As promised in a recent post, I was lucky to sneak up on a baby marsh rabbit during a recent walk in our wetlands — not always the easiest thing to do with wild adult rabbits, let alone the babies. (Learn more about Marsh Rabbits here.) And as promised…. Cuteness factor through the roof! In honor of their adorableness, I included vintage illustrations of rabbit romps with fairies, and fairytale rabbits — because when I see these delicate marsh rabbits (or as I call them, swamp bunnies, much to the chagrin of the more uptight naturalists), especially the babies — it’s hard not to picture them in such a setting. I like to envision fae around all critters, helping us occasionally close-minded humans love and appreciate their, and Nature’s beauty all that more.

Marsh Rabbit Baby in the South Florida Wetlands

“Fairy and Rabbits,” by Ida Rentoul Outhwaite

“A Rabbit Among the Fairies,” by John Anster Fitzgerald

The Brothers Grimm, “The Rabbit’s Bride,” by Walter Crane (court. Project Gutenberg)

“The White Rabbit,” by John Tenniel

“The Tale of Benjamin Bunny,” by Beatrix Potter

“Once you are Real you can’t become unreal again. It lasts for always.” So, with the help of the fairy who cares for all playthings, and makes them Real…

“The Velveteen Rabbit,” by Margery Williams (Ill. by William Nicholson)

Fae Mouse; or a Visit with an Eastern Harvest Mouse

Despite the commonality of some critters, I love to watch them just as much as any other — they’re all captivating. I recently watched and photographed an Eastern Harvest Mouse for a solid 20 minutes….

This little guy is common in Florida’s wetland ecosystems, but other natural habitats include subtropical and tropical grasslands, scrub, swamps, prairies, meadows, and pastureland. Their range includes the Great Lakes, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, Florida, and Texas. While the Eastern Harvest Mouse eats seeds, fresh plant matter, and small insects, they’re prey for our snakes, bobcats, large wading birds, and birds of prey. Their nests are constructed of shredded grasses and plant fibers, and are used by the mice year-round. Offspring are usually born in the late spring, summer, or early fall, with litter sizes ranging from 2 – 7.

I realize many people are spooked by rodents, mice in particular. Perhaps it’s my love of fairy tales, or plain fondness for all critters — every one — but I always see fairies accompanying them. Honestly, he’s adorable; as I’m always saying: THAT FACE!

Eastern Harvest Mouse, Florida Wetlands

Courtesy Project Gutenberg:

“Grasshopper Green and the Meadow-Mice,” Written and illustrated by John Rae. P.F. Volland Company, 1922

Courtesy Project Gutenberg:

“Grasshopper Green and the Meadow-Mice,” Written and illustrated by John Rae. P.F. Volland Company, 1922

“Fairies And a Field Mouse,” by Etheline E. Dell (1885-1923)

“The Chase of the White Mouse,” by John Anster Fitzgerald (1819-1906)

The Queen of the Field Mice, from “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” by L. Frank Baum

Courtesy Project Gutenberg:

Thumbelina, by Hans Christian Andersen, from “Childhood’s Favorites and Fairy Stories: The Young Folks Treasury, Volume 1”

“The Fairy Bower” by John Anster Fitzgerald

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