In the midst of Fernald's Neck, a mysterious mossy forest surrounded by a lake in Maine, there are fairy forts all around...you just need to know how to look for them. These forts are usually below overturned trees and deep crevices in rocks.
Since I was "carried" by The Wee Folk, my eyes are sharper. I saw my first one on top of a bed of moss in the sunlight.
Deeper into the forest I saw what she was protecting. There it was, a fort. I did not dare go near it, for they do not take human meddling kindly. And I did not wish to be dragged down into it.
There was not one person in the forest that day. But ahead on the trail covered by pine needles, a fawn crashed through the trees. I could just see the tip of its white tail as it fled. Soon, I came to the height of the land, overlooking the lake, where sure enough, I encountered two more.
Adorned in white birch and dried grass, lichen, moss and fungi, all of these green fairies blended in. They knew I could see them and yet...they let me pass.
The deeper I ventured into the forest, the more it became clear. Fernald's Neck had a network of forts all along the trail. There was a moat that led to the Queen's court and many pairs of eyes watched to see what I could do.
I passed on and kept my eyes on the path until finally I was back in the meadow once more, back to safety.
You don't see them; but they live among the summer wildflowers keeping the Queen amused. This is another of the Queen's Handmaidens adorned in a birch bodice, a dried hydrangea skirt and a ruffle of Silverrod at the throat.
In Tanglewood, the Musk Mallow is a sign that the Queen resides nearby. They pluck the fruits and one-seeded nutlets for her meals.
She is one of the Queen's handmaidens of The Fairy Thorn, near a "heavy-sliding stream." In their lonely beauty, these merry maids along the hill amuse the Queen and keep her happy all the day long. "And away in mazes wavy, like skimming birds they go."
Adapted from An Ulster Ballad, "The Fairy Thorn" by Sir Samuel Ferguson.
This miniature art piece is crafted from dried grass and hydrangea with bramble applique. Here, it floats on its own hanger, anchored by a vintage tonic bottle. This piece can be found at Beyond The Sea bookshop in Lincolnville.
The Merrow from the root word muir is a sea fairy and she is partial to good looking fishermen, but they do not enjoy seeing her, for their presence means a coming gale.
This is a rare, one-of-a-kind dress crafted from sea grass, kelp and tiny shells from a Florida beach. I only have materials to make possibly three or four more. Here she is posed on the rocks of Ducktrap Beach.
Tonic of the Woods
the inspiration behind the creations
Photos, stories and concept ©Kay Stephens
Look up the story behind a fairy dress by clicking on the name below