Tag Archives: Fairies

Furbaby Friday with Author Patty Koontz!


You are in for a treat! My good friend, Patty Koontz, is here to share her wonderful menagerie, especially her beloved Samoyeds, and her charming new children’s book Wee Darby Visits The North Pole.

(Samoyed Puppies)

Patty: I wish to thank my dear friend, Beth, for inviting me here today!  I’m thrilled for this opportunity to share a wee bit about a few of my loveable “fur-babies”, which I consider my “children”.

One brisk morning, when I was a wee lass, and to my Mum’s horror, she caught me outside sharing a tasty snack with my new best friend, “kitty”, the SKUNK!  My parents immediately bought me a stuffed pink bunny, “bun-bun”, to help distract me from searching for my pet kitty.  My dream in life was to become a zoologist and work with wolves. My parents, of course, didn’t encourage that pursuit. I truly think that’s why they kept me away from the zoo.  So, since then, I’ve raised rabbits, quail, fish, goats, sheep, and alpacas; helped my Daddy raise and train hunting dogs, and rescued several cats and dogs. Most importantly, I made sure I married a man who loves animals as much as I do!

After several miscarriages and finding out we were unable to have any children of our own, our pets became my priority and our babies. I’ll always remember the day we spotted our very first “Samoyed” – and it was love at first sight!  I’m honored and feel very blessed to have been owned and loved by this magical breed, and my own beloved “pack”, for over 25 years. I also had the opportunity to educate people about how magnificent the Samoyed breed really is, besides discovering just how close their instinctive habits are related to the wolf.

(Show dog, Wolf, enjoying posing for the camera)

Their good-natured personalities, love, and companionship made a huge impact in my life. Not only did they help me through the tragic loss of my father – but one in particular (her name was Magick), actually saved my husband’s life and alerted me when he went into a coma.  They continued to stand by me and work their loving magic by getting me through the heartbreaking loss of my best friend in the world – my beloved Irish Mum. These wonderful babies were my saving grace and nurtured me through the most difficult trials. Sadly, and most heart wrenching, my last Samoyed, Panda, closed her eyes and went to join the rest of the pack five years ago.

Even though my beloved babies are not with me anymore, fond memories of my Sammies will always fill my heart and soul – and one day, I pray, we’ll meet again when they cross back over Rainbow Bridge . . . and they come running to meet my open arms.

(Wolf–not happy about sharing the limelight)

It breaks my heart that I’m unable to have another Samoyed right now, (but I’m not giving up). To try and help fill that painful void, we soon adopted a rescue puppy named Patches, that was getting ready to be put down at a shelter. He was “supposed” to be a smaller dog, but has ended up being an 80 lb. lap (hunting dog) that doesn’t leave my husband’s side. I’m thankful for the companionship he gives him while I’m gone at work. I also have a lovable, furry Ragdoll cat named Samson, who believes he’s a dog.

A few interesting facts about Samoyeds:


(Thunder, Rusty Autumn, Snowbear)

These double coated dogs love the cold – they love to herd reindeer, (chase squirrels), pull sleds, (dig holes), do weight pulls, (howl like wolves at the sound of ambulances and fire engines). Their thick coats repel dirt and they have no “doggy smell”.  In fact, I collected bags of rich, “blown undercoat” and spun it into yarn. I knitted gloves, scarves, hats and sweaters –people thought it was angora!  Another point most people don’t realize is that the true color of Samoyed’s eyes are brown – not blue.  I could go on, and on, and on . . . but I know there’s only so much blog space room. 🙂

To honor and keep the memories of my beloved “pet children” alive, I’m thrilled to carry on their legacy and “antics” by including them in a Christmas story written for “all ages”, set in the North Pole.

Get ready to enjoy an Arctic Adventure with Wee Darby and his dragon companion Kalista.  Where they meet up with the flying sheep named Merlin, loveable Samoyeds, elves, reindeer, fairy penguins, a troll, and of course Santa! (There’s plenty more, but you’ll have to read it to find out . . . . )

Thanks again, Beth, for having me!  I love reading your weekly posts!

Beth: Thanks Patty. I love hearing about your wonderful Samoyeds. I didn’t know anything about these outstanding dogs before you.

(Cover by Elise Trissel)

Blurb for Wee Darby Visits the North Pole:

When Wee Darby learns his pet sheep, Merlin, has been spotted flying with a herd of Santa’s Reindeer, he sets off to the North Pole for an adventure filled with arctic antics and magick. Get ready to discover the enchantment of Kringle Village, magical creatures, and fairy tale ice sculptures while you celebrate the holidays with an endearing troupe of fairies, elves, and trolls. Written for children of all ages, who wish to keep the magic of Christmas alive all year.

***Wee Darby Visits the North Pole is available in print and kindle at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Wee-Darby-Visits-North-Pole/dp/1978202164/r

Follow Wee Darby on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/Wee-Darby-and-his-magical-friends-141592326340574/

Follow Patty Koontz at: https://www.facebook.com/patty.koontz.98

Follow Darby’s blog: “Wee Darby” https://pattykoontz.wordpress.com/wee-darby/

Thanks for stopping by! Please leave Patty comment.

(Panda)

The Magick of Fairy Thimbles by Author Patty Koontz


Do you believe in fairies? Wee Darby and I most certainly do! Have you ever noticed a sparkle of tiny lights or gotten a quick glimpse of flickering movements from inside flower petals or beneath a cluster of wildflowers? Or even “thought” you just “might have heard” some giggling or sounds of flutes playing soft whimsical tunes, while taking a stroll by fragrant, colorful flowers, that made you smile for no reason? If so, the next time you decide to go outside and enjoy the beauty of nature, you might want to take a closer look . . .
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Glens of Antrim, Bluebells, Portglenone Forest, Ireland

Glens of Antrim, Bluebells, Portglenone Forest, Ireland

Have you ever heard the legend of the Bluebell Fairy Thimbles – then you’re in for a grand surprise when you read about the fairies that live in the fields of bluebells, which grow wild in Ireland and Scotland.
canstockphoto14778167Wee Darby and his fairy niece, Pantera, are delighted to share a wee bit about the magical lore…The legend tells of fairies that live among the bluebells growing in charming meadows and visited by hares (rabbits).  And humans, (or Krindles, as the fairies call us from what I’ve learned from Wee Darby), should be careful not to disturb or pick these flowers – you never want to anger the fairies – as they can play tricks on you.
canstockphoto19508726 Its been told how people even believed that witches turned themselves into the hares and hid among the precious plants to keep out of sight and danger. Make sure you ask permission first – the next time you get the urge to pick the precious plants . . . .
You might be surprised at just “what” or “who”  you might find…
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20150927_061611fairy-flowers
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Wee Darby and I are delighted you stopped by, and encourage you to please feel free to leave us comments, and let us know if you enjoy the site. “The Magick of Wee Darby” is coming out in early 2017.
(A Lovely illustration of my wee Pantera, (a fairy with tiny wings, who can’t fly), on her first official visit to a pumpkin patch in America) (drawn by the talented, Elise Trissel)
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***The print book will be available from Amazon on October 1st-release date!
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Plants the Fairies Like and Dislike


lovely magical fairy woman

Our resident fairy expert, my niece Cailin, tells me I have a very fairy friendly garden, which is good to know. But for those of you who want to up your appeal in the fairy world, here are some plants you might want to include in your garden, and some to ward off malevolent fae. Plus more ABOUT fairies.

“Fairies are invisible and inaudible like angels.  But their magic sparkles in nature.”  ~Lynn Holland

“The fairies break their dances

And leave the printed lawn.”

~A.E. Housman

Colorful foxglovesFoxglove. Fairies are reputed to love the blossoms, and the plant is essential for fairy gardens. According to legend, fairies sleep in the bell-shaped flowers, and wear them as gloves. In addition to foxglove, thyme is thought to be a favorite of fairies and drifts of thyme are left for them in the garden. If you plant a fairy garden, be certain to include, thyme, foxglovesaffron, rosemary, and roses.

“The fairy poet takes a sheet

Of moonbeam, silver white;

His ink is dew from daisies sweet,

His pen a point of light.”

~Joyce Kilmer

Bluebell forest in IrelandScottish or English bluebells are also highly favored by fairies. Lore has it that they ring the bluebells to call a meeting and anyone who hears the bells ring will die or fall under the enchantment of fairies. And whatever you do, don’t step inside a bluebell ring or you’ll meet the same fate. Another lovely bit of lore says a young woman who can turn a single bluebell inside out without damaging the blossom will win the one she loves.

I trust they also like the Virginia bluebells my dear grandmother gave me that have spread beautifully and bloom in among the late daffodils.

“Spread your wings and let the fairy in you fly!” ~Author Unknown

“Nothing can be truer than fairy wisdom.  It is as true as sunbeams.” ~Douglas Jerrold

anemone--wind flowersWood Anemone: These are beautiful plants. I have some anemones, also called wind flowers, that bloom in my spring garden.

From The Scots Herbal by Tess Darwin

“A widespread plant of woods, also found on upland grassland and moorland where it may be a relic indicating previous woodland cover. It provided  a safe refuge for fairies to take their beauty sleep or shelter from rain, as the flower closes at night and at the onset of wet weather.”

Blooms in spring. Note: Poisonous. Contains a bitter oil that causes severe skin irritations and gastric disturbances if ingested. Musky scent. Alternative name ‘Smell fox.’

462211333Now here’s an interesting flower and twist on fairies.

The Butterwort Family: From The Scots Herbal by Tess Darwin

“This was a magical plant in the Scottish islands. People who carried it were protected from witches; cows that had eaten it were immune to elf-arrows. It was woven with other flowers into a magic hoop to place under the milk pail and protect the milk from fairies. There is a story of a woman keeping watch over a newborn baby to prevent fairies stealing it and leaving a changeling—a sickly, fey fairy child—in its place. Two fairies came to the cradle and could not take the child because its mother had eaten butter made from milk of a cow that had eaten butterwort.”

”From this informative site on Butterwort (A carnivorous plant): http://www.plantlife.org.uk/scotland/wild_plants/plant_species_scotland/?ent=1220

“The striking triangular leaves, with their rolled edges, appear in a star pattern at the base of this pretty flower.”

The flowers are deep violet-blue with a pointy funnel shape. Butterwort is widely distributed in Scotland, Wales, and the north of England. It likes a damp habitat such as bogs, fens, wet heaths and the crevices between rocks.

Scottish bluebell fairyButterworts main use medicinally is for coughs, particularly whooping cough. The leaves are used to curdle milk in order to make butter.

Mountain Ash, also known as the Rowan Tree in the UK and Dogberry Tree in parts of Canada, is a familiar sight in the mountains surrounding the Shenandoah Valley.

Rowan trees planted near stone circles in Scotland were thought to be favored by fairies who held their celebrations within the protective tree enclosed circle. Fairies are extremely cautious. But the fae can also get up to mischief, so the rowan would protect you from that as well. One of those multi-use herbs/trees. It’s gorgeous in autumn when covered with bright red berries, and particularly attractive to birds.

Winter beautyRowan or Mountain Ash also wards off werewolves, possibly vampires and witches, too, should these be a problem for you.

“This is a work of fiction. All the characters in it, human and otherwise, are imaginary, excepting only certain of the fairy folk, whom it might be unwise to offend by casting doubts on their existence. Or lack thereof.” ~Neil Gaiman

 

How To Catch a Leprechaun


leprechaun (1)According to the small people in the family, you dig a shallow hole–or deeper, if you’re in a digging mood–beneath the old maple tree in our front yard, then disguise it with twigs and sticks, fallen from the tree, and add some tempting leaves and flower petals. The clover isn’t really out yet, and the best blossoms they can find are tiny white snowdrops. The idea is similar to a tiger trap, the thinking being that the unsuspecting leprechaun will tumble into the trap and stay there until discovered by eager youngsters. What they’d do with one if they caught it, hasn’t been hotly debated. No one has a clue. I’m not sure they even realize these magical little guys have a bag of gold at the end of the rainbow, or that they’re required to grant you three wishes upon their release.

irish shamrocksRecently, six yr old granddaughter Emma asked her Aunt Elise if leprechauns actually exist. Elise said that all depends on who you ask. Many would say ‘yes’ and there are a lot of stories about leprechauns. Satisfied, Emma returned to her task. Heaven knows our resident fairy expert, my niece Cailin, knows about leprechauns. They fall into her area of expertise, as they’re a type of fairy in Irish folklore. Nine yr old grandson, Ian, the original instigator of the annual trap laying, had a theory that a leprechaun hitched a ride to his school in the pot of shamrocks his teacher brought to class, found its way into his backpack, and then ultimately my yard. I’m told I have highly fairy, and likely, leprechaun friendly gardens with all my herbs and flowers. Scant this year, though, until warmer winds blow favorably upon our realm. It’s been a long winter.

Last spring, Elise dipped the small foot of a doll into green paint and walked her around the trap, to give the kids a thrill. Just missing a leprechaun is almost as good as snaring one.

darby-ogill-and-king-brian-sharWho remembers Darby O’Gill and the Little People? I saw the film years after it first came out in 1959, when my children were young, but we all found it enchanting. Although the banshee scared the bejeebers out of us and seeing Sean Connery with dark brown hair and singing was rather a shock for me. He was much younger then. I was a preschooler in ’59, only they didn’t have preschool in those days. Plus, I was in Taiwan where I spent much of my early childhood and they most definitely did not have leprechauns. Dragons, however, are another matter.

(Image of Darby O’Gill and King Brian)

leprechaun“Magic
Sandra’s seen a leprechaun,
Eddie touched a troll,
Laurie danced with witches once,
Charlie found some goblins gold.
Donald heard a mermaid sing,
Susy spied an elf,
But all the magic I have known
I’ve had to make myself.”
― Shel SilversteinWhere the Sidewalk Ends

June Fairy Update–Beth Trissel


cailin_fairyNiece Cailin, our resident fairy expert, celebrated the birthday of her newest fairy, Taler, today.  We contributed presents, and a good friend sent fairy furnishings. Cailin has excitedly redone her fairy garden and is at work compiling a fairy journal. She tells me that I should be able to see fairies in my garden because I’ve attracted some of the more readily discerned kinds, if I’ll keep my eyes open. I like to think I do. Cailin confided her sadness that many people do not believe in fairies. My oldest daughter Alison said, ‘think how God feels.’  Many don’t believe in him and he even created us. Good point.

Ian and Cailin fighting wind fairiesBack to Cailin. In her journal she warns, “Outside is dangris becas of wind fairies.” And that has certainly been true for much of the country this late spring/early summer. Very scary. Cailin and her cousin, my grandson Ian, created shields and swords out of cardboard boxes (I hoard them) and joined forces with the good fairies (rose, animal, healing fairies…) to wage battle against the wind fairies. She says, ‘Wind fairies are evil and powerful. Never get near or be bad to one. If you make them angry they will make sparkly lights flash through your room and send leaves in a swirling circle, like a small dust cloud, all around.’ So beware.

Above: Cailin and Ian fighting wind fairies on my sun porch–a problem because they can come through windows. But not doors. And not windows with shades or curtains. My thoughtful five-year-old granddaughter Emma, upon learning the rules of wind fairies, noted all the windows on the sun porch and asked why they’d taken position out there and not a more secure location? Well, that’s where the action was.

Cailin fighting wind fairies

Cailin opening her fairy presents above.

Cailin fighting wind fairies above:

Cailin’s new fairy garden below:

Cailin's fairy garden (2)

Fairy Alert–Beth Trissel


Some of you may remember earlier posts inspired by our resident fairy expert, my niece Cailin, now eight. A soulful eyed sprite, Cailin glimpses a realm unknown to most of us, though imagined by me.  She creates homes for fairies in her backyard and assures me that they love my garden, even have a fairy school here. Good to know my flowers are appreciated by these ephemeral beings. Cailin and her fairy friends have enhanced our lives with wonder.  Big news–she discovered her first baby fairy.

Sunday afternoon I received an excited phone call from Cailin with descriptions of this marvelous find, also questions as to how she should care for such a unique infant. While Cailin and I were speaking her teenage sister, Lizzy, walked in the door to cries of, “Lizzy! Look! I found a baby fairy!”

The story of Cailin and her latest fairy find, Taler, is a fascinating revelation, one that unfolds daily as she learns more about her new charge. As my sister tells the tale: “I was downstairs doing laundry when Cailin came rushing down the stairs. I heard, “Mama! Mama! Guess what?! Guess what I have in my hands?!” Her hands were cupped, and held close together, her face with an expression of sheer delight and anticipation as she couldn’t wait for me to see and discover what was in her hands. She then said, “I found it in the grass, and Andy (her stepfather) said I can keep it! He said I can keep it and take care of it!” (*Image of Cailin and her fairy,  Taler, above.)

I was a little hesitant, and asked her to show me what she held. She carefully opened her hands so her treasure wouldn’t fly off and looked up at my face, knowing I would be just as excited as she was…then it dawned on her that I couldn’t see it. She said, “It’s an ‘everything fairy’ – that’s why it’s invisible” (well,  to most). She explained she was walking along with Sara (her sister) and they were having fun with “Mr Moustache” (the caterpillar they’d discovered) when “out of the corner of my eye,” she says she saw a glimmer in the grass. Before it got stepped on or stolen, she reached down and scooped it up just in time.

At first Cailin didn’t understand why she’d be there, a little baby fairy, all alone. She feared her parents had abandoned her. But then Taler told her the whole story as the evening wore on. Apparently, her parents were trying to hide her from the Wind fairies (a terrible whooshing sort of fairy that would want to get her as an infant and raise her as one of their own). They hadn’t abandoned her, they were trying to protect her. Cailin said she still needs to watch out for the wind fairies, because they’re still searching for her. Taler (very sparkly) may be of royal blood as well. And, an everything fairy is quite rare. She has the potential for amazing powers. After the enthusiasm of showing me her fairy had calmed for a second, she asked, “How do I take care of a baby fairy? I’ve never taken care of one before.” That’s when I announced, “We should call your Aunt Beth. She might have some good ideas about that.”

And I did, of course. I suggested a small warm box lined with something soft for a bed and a diet of nectar, honey or sugar water, hoping she doesn’t attract ants, as a butterfly is the closest creature I can compare a fairy to.

(Playground for fairies and bed, with tiny teddy, for Taler)

Also of interest to note, Cailin was hoping Taler would be more turquoise, because that’s her favorite color, but Taler is pink and purplish, also has tiny stripes on her arm–a recent discovery. Cailin isn’t yet sure why. When she first found Taler, furled wings concealed much of her, but as they’ve opened Cailin is better able to see more of her. Oh, and Taler can teleport. Not from room to room, but her house to mine, one place to another. With help, I think Cailin should make Taler’s story (and more) into a book. Stay tuned. The adventure of Cailin and her fairies may be coming to an Amazon near you.

(Cailin and her fairy garden pictured above. Drawing of Taler.)

Fairy Update from my Wee Niece


Several of you had questions about fairies and their habitats in regards to attracting them to your garden.  I dutifully reported these queries and in response to whether fairies live in Alaska or the desert, Cailin said: Snow Fairies live where it’s cold and are quite tiny—she stretched out her little hand to show their height–and added that they’re few in number.  Desert fairies, she said, are also small, though slightly larger than snow fairies, and very scarce.  As to fairies in the Shenandoah Valley,  she told her mother (my younger sister Catherine) about Forest, a female fairy with blond hair who wears a wedding dress and lives locally.  She recently spoke with Forest.

Also of interest, Cailin speaks with animals and had what she termed a ‘disscussment’ with the cat, so that contrary feline would understand the rules of living inside the house before she becomes an outside cat.  I’m sure Cailin has that all straightened out now and bad kitty will behave.  If not, my sister and her husband have a lovely fenced in garden she can hang out with Forest and the other fairies…

***I should add, if you have any further questions about fairies I’m sure Cailin would be happy to share her insights.

Planting A Fairy Garden


If you lack whimsy and magic in your life, consider enticing fairies to your yard by including the plants they find irresistible.

Personally, I’ve always been a big fan of fairies and they are more than welcome in my garden.  I just hope the cats don’t get them, though I expect they’re clever enough to evade felines and nosy farm dogs. Perhaps they catch a ride with butterflies or bumblebees and soar to safety, or simply hide among the leaves and flowers.

Not too long ago, my youngest niece, Cailin, now seven, aspired to be a fairy when she grew up and often checked her back in the mirror for signs of  sprouting wings.  To her disappointment, none were forthcoming. She still believes ardently in fairies, though, and knows quite a lot about them.  I’ll pass on any questions you might have and share Cailin’s replies. She’s a highly imaginative child with lots of ideas to share.

But back to Fairy gardens, I found much useful information on planting one at this herbal site.   “Some herbs are associated with fairies, the most important one being thyme. In Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Titania, the fairy queen, sleeps in a bed of wild thyme growing on a bank.”

*I love thyme and have assorted varieties growing with more or less success in my garden (s) and am forever planting more. You can’t have too much thyme.

“Foxgloves are essential for fairy gardens. According to legend, fairies sleep in the bell-shaped flowers, and wear them as gloves. Other common names for the plant include fairy fingers, fairy thimbles, and fairy cap.”

But of course. I just have to get the darn plants to grow here again.

“The purple foxglove is a biennial. Its blooms range in color from white and cream to pink and purple. There may be attractive dark spots in the throats of the bell-shaped flowers. There are perennial foxgloves as well, including the yellow foxglove.

Foxgloves often self-sow and prefer cool weather. Those in warm climates may want to grow the quick-blooming variety, called ‘Foxy.’ This will produce flowers the very first year from seed.”

*But they are not nearly as stunning as the varieties you have to wait for.

Another herb that is essential in the fairy garden is saffron. Fairies are especially fond of this culinary herb/spice for flavoring cakes and dyeing cloth. Other recommended plants are rosemary and roses. Roses are much-loved by fairies for their beauty and fragrance.”

Clap if you believe in fairies~

tiny fairy baby

Faires and Planting A Fairy Garden


If you lack whimsy and magic in your life, consider enticing fairies to your yard by including the plants they find irresistible.  I found much useful information on planting a fairy garden at this herbal site.

Personally, Ive always been a big fan of fairies and they are more than welcome in my garden.  I expect most of them are heading farther South at this time of year, with winter on its way, but they may linger a while yet.

Until quite recently, my youngest niece, Cailin, just turned six, aspired to be a fairy when she grew up and often checked her back in the mirror for signs of  sprouting wings.  To her disappointment, none are forthcoming.

Older sister, Sara, told her that you are either born a fairy or you’re not, you can’t become one.  Bummer.  Cailin was most put out.   She is now contemplating being a person who sings on stage.  However, her favorite movies are those with fairies and princesses in them.  When I was a child, that’s all I drew.  But I never actually thought I could grow up to be a fairy when I grew up.  A princess, sure.

I loved the movie, Fairy Tale, A True Story.   And I was no kid when I saw it.  Charming film for all ages.  And it’s true. 🙂

From the above herbal site:  “Some herbs are associated with fairies, the most important one being thyme. In Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Titania, the fairy queen, sleeps in a bed of wild thyme growing on a bank.

Foxgloves are essential for fairy gardens. According to legend, fairies sleep in the bell-shaped flowers, and wear them as gloves. Other common names for the plant include fairy fingers, fairy thimbles, and fairy cap.

The purple foxglove is a biennial. Its blooms range in color from white and cream to pink and purple. There may be attractive dark spots in the throats of the bell-shaped flowers. There are perennial foxgloves as well, including the yellow foxglove.

Foxgloves often self-sow and prefer cool weather. Those in warm climates may want to grow the quick-blooming variety, called ‘Foxy.’ This will produce flowers the very first year from seed.

Another herb that is essential in the fairy garden is saffron. Fairies are especially fond of this culinary herb/spice for flavoring cakes and dyeing cloth. Other recommended plants are rosemary and roses. Roses are much loved by fairies for their beauty and fragrance.”

Clap if you believe in fairies~