Folklore & Nature: Fairy Butter

In Little Langdale the Busk and the Forge, the latter place only separated from our parish by the Brathay, were regularly visited by fairies — harmless little beings it would seem, of the house-goblin class, for their principal occupation seems to have been churning butter after the family had retired for the night. They were, however, rather thriftless little folk, for near the Forge it was common to find bits of butter scattered in the woods, dropped, it would seem, by the uncanny churners in their morning flight.

Hawkshead: the northernmost parish of Lancashire by Henry Swainson Cowper

There are many reports of fairy butter from around the UK and Ireland in folklore. In Scandinavia the same phenomenon was known as ‘troll’s butter’ while in Wales it was called ‘Menyn Tylna Teg’ and was…

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365 Nature – Day 293

In 2016 I’m doing a 365 Nature project. Learn more about the project and see all the 365 Nature posts.


Today I went on an accidental mushroom hunt. I didn’t mean to, I had taken photos of mushrooms for Day 292 just yesterday, but shortly after I set out I came across the most quintessentially autumn scene of a cluster of butter yellow mushrooms on top of a log. As I took photos I noticed more and more mushrooms all around me and the more I looked, the more I saw. Some were easy to spot, but not enough is said about the ability of fungi to blend into the ground. I took a photos of a group of three small, brown mushrooms and went to take another photo from the other side and in the two steps, I lost them. I couldn’t see them in the leaves until…

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365 Nature – Day 15

In 2016 I’m doing a 365 Nature project. Each day of the year I will post something here about nature. It may be any format, a photo, video, audio, sketch or entry from my nature journal. It could be a written piece. Each day I will connect to nature in some way and share it here by the end of that day. You can keep up-to-date by subscribing to the RSS feed or be notified by email. See all the 365 Nature posts.


Today is a hodgepodge of nature observations and thoughts.

I’ve been noticing that on garbage days I see many more crows than normal in our neighborhood. Most of the time I only see a pair, or a few at a time. Unless of course there’s a raptor that’s drawn their attention, then many more come in. However, on Fridays I notice many large groups of…

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365 Nature – Day 10

In 2016 I’m doing a 365 Nature project. Each day of the year I will post something here about nature. It may be any format, a photo, video, audio, sketch or entry from my nature journal. It could be a written piece. Each day I will connect to nature in some way and share it here by the end of that day. You can keep up-to-date by subscribing to the RSS feed or be notified by email. See all the 365 Nature posts.


 

I’ve been watching these fungi growing in our backyard for awhile. Unfortunately I didn’t document when I first noticed them, but I do have photos of them from back in October. They look like some type of shelf fungi, but I’m still a beginner mycologist. In Mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest they look similar to fungi in the Tremetes family. There are two listed which…

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