This morning the rain let up, and we even had glimpses of sunshine, so we decided to go to the Fairy Glen to see if we could spot any real Scottish fairies. These elusive fairies are infinitely cleverer than humans and you will only ever see them if they decide to show themselves to you. I did see them rather frequently when I was younger, but for the past few visits I haven't seen any.
Is that a fairy? Oh, no, that's just Granny. Granny didn't see any fairies either.
No fairies at the waterfall. We contemplated diving in for about point five seconds. It was that same sort of thought process that I go through when I'm on the edge of a very high cliff and I'm inclined to jump, but then I think, "Oh wait, I might hurt myself."
Sometimes you have to climb across the river to try and catch a fairy. They are very quick, you know. But Rebecca didn't get this one because she was too busy posing for a picture. She needs to sort out her priorities.
Did you know that fairies wear bluebells for hats? It's true, they do. That's why they look so magical. Definitely a clue that we're getting close.
Oh look, a fairy's home! We are hot on their trail!
Fairies use poppies to make their skirts. I would love to have a poppy skirt. In fact, I think I would love to be a fairy. I would love to live in a beautiful moss-covered home and be infinitely clever and wear bright, soft dresses and have tea parties and sing magical songs all day. That would be my ideal set-up I should think.
People put pennies in this magical tree for good luck. Fairies are attracted to shiny things, so fairy hunters often use coins or mirrors to inveigle* them out from their homes. I didn't see any fairies here though. But can't you just see the magic?
Fairy hair! We must be getting close. One reason fairies are able to sneak around is that their magical abilities enable them to blend in with their surroundings. This particular fairy must have lived in a tree covered in moss just like this.
Fairies use dandelion seeds like these to sleep on. Can you imagine sleeping on a bed of dandelions? I should think it would be the world's comfiest bed.
Here is one of Mother Nature's best ideas. Those sinister-looking plants there on the left are stinging nettles, and they are quite irritating when you're in the middle of nowhere and you brush up against one of them. So this seems like a rather unkind thing to scatter everywhere around footpaths. But you see the nice, friendly looking plant in the right corner? Those are dock leaves and if you rub the leaf on the sting, it soothes the skin and makes it all better. Isn't it wonderful that these two plants are neighbors?
Well unfortunately we didn't find any fairies this time. I like to think that we got pretty close though! I could certainly feel the magic in the Fairy Glen, and sometimes the susurrus** of the stream sounded remarkably similar to the tinkling laughter of the fairies. One thing that you have to be careful about when you're hunting fairies is that sometimes they can be rather tricky. On the footpaths through the woods, there are so many little byways branching off that you have to be quite careful that you're going the way you want to go. Fairies make these extra paths in an attempt to lure overly curious people, especially children, away from the beaten trail. Once you leave the main trail, you are lost forever to the real world and kept prisoner in the magical world. That's why you have to be careful with magic. Fairies aren't always as pleasant as they seem.
*Inveigle /ɪnˈve gəl/ verb: to entice, lure, or ensnare by flattery or inducements.
**Susurrus /sʊˈsɜr əs/ noun: whispering, murmuring, or rustling.