Tag Archives: faeries

Does Anyone Know This Wee Girl? The Gift of Crystals

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Does Anyone Know This Wee Girl?  The Gift of Crystals

A few weeks ago while waiting in line at Shoppers Drug Mart, a mother (I assume) and young girl were ahead of me. The little girl was talking about all of her “crystals” and she had a pocket full of them. Her mother asked her to ask me if I would like one. She was adorable and gave me the ones in the photo above. Me, being me, told her that I would plant them in the woods where all the magical fairies live.

I would love for them both to find out how much I need that! It was a bad day, and it made me feel so much better. And, if there is any chance I’d love to mail a letter from the fairies to her, thanking her!

Here’s hoping!

Jenna Rattray

Related reading…

Fresh Fairy Foot Marks Earth On a Charcoal Pit Westport Perth –McNamee

Faeries on the Malloch Farm

The Faeries of McArthur Island- Dedicated to the Bagg Children

Oddities — Lanark County Puffball Mushrooms

Beware of the Lanark County Fairy Rings

The Banshee of Kingston Mills

Banshees and Steamships

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Banshees and Steamships
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he Ottawa Citizen
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
28 Oct 1933, Sat  •  Page 2

So why was the boat called The Banshee? I think this story might have a lot to do with it.

The Banshee of Kingston Mills

A banshee, or Bean Sidhe, is a fairy from Irish folklore whose scream was an omen of death. Her thin scream is referred to as “caoine,” which translates to “keening.” It is said that a banshee’s cry predicts the death of a member of one of Ireland’s five major families: the O’Grady’s, the O’Neills, the O’Briens, the O’Connors or the Kavanaghs.

Over time as families blended, it was said that most Irish families had their own banshee. It is also said that the banshees followed their families as they emigrated from Ireland to other places across the globe, though some stayed behind to grieve at the original family estate.

It is believed they were based on an old Irish tradition where women would sing a lament to signify one’s passing. This too was referred to as keening. As many keeners accepted alcohol as payment, which the church frowned upon, many have speculated it was these keeners who were punished in the eyes of God and were forced to become banshees. Another factor that likely contributed to the superstitious legend is the cry of the barn owl. In ancient battles, owls would screech and take flight if they noticed an army approaching, which would forewarn the defending army.

In June 1930, on a hot summer day, visitors to Kingston Mills Lock were alarmed when they heard banshees groaning and sobbing in the marsh. A tale spread by the community has grown and spread until some residents fear for the marshes around the Kingston locks. The matter remained hearsay until a local newspaper published a story. Since then calls have poured in reporting sights of the spectre.

These people are convinced they saw something and people claiming sight have fainted immediately. The sounds happen when the sun is high and the marsh is full of water. Many people heard the sounds over the years but no one could find anything that caused them.

An older Carleton Place resident told me they made several fires when they stayed overnight to protect them from the banshees in the woods.There have been several reported banshee sightings, but it is said that if a banshee becomes aware of a human’s presence watching her, she will disappear into a cloud of mist. When she does, it is accompanied by a fluttering sound like a bird flapping its wings.

So are there Banshees? This story is from the Frontenac Arch Biosphere

The legend of the Banshee started when the Rideau Canal was being built and Irish people settled near the lock. They brought with them supernatural beliefs and the ‘Bean-Sidhe’ who mourns over the death of a good or holy person was one of those beliefs.

It is possible the marsh clay dried up around the cattail roots and the air burst out of them causing groaning noises.

read more

Fresh Fairy Foot Marks Earth On a Charcoal Pit Westport Perth –McNamee

Faeries on the Malloch Farm

The Faeries of McArthur Island- Dedicated to the Bagg Children

Oddities — Lanark County Puffball Mushrooms

Beware of the Lanark County Fairy Rings

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he Buffalo Commercial
Buffalo, New York
13 Mar 1861, Wed  •  Page 3
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The Buffalo Commercial
Buffalo, New York
12 Aug 1864, Fri  •  Page 3
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Buffalo Morning Express and Illustrated Buffalo Express
Buffalo, New York
13 Sep 1872, Fri  •  Page 3

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The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
08 Dec 1914, Tue  •  Page 6

Fresh Fairy Foot Marks Earth On a Charcoal Pit Westport Perth –McNamee

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Fresh Fairy Foot Marks Earth On a Charcoal Pit  Westport Perth –McNamee

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This is a story about Irish fairies in Canada, and the story began on the road from Perth to Westport. It was near the McNamee Farm which was at the foot of the mountain, just beyond the Scotch Line, not far from Stanleyville.  Among the stories is one which might lead to when the Irish immigrants came to the mountain top between Westport and Perth, in North Burgess. Apparently their particular family fairies came with them.

In the early 1850s Mr. McNamee’s father was working as a charcoal burner on the west, side of the mountain, close to Westport. With him he had as a helper a man named George Murphy. Those who understand charcoal burning will remember that when the wood used to be well lit it would be covered by a bed of sand or earth, so that the wood might be merely charred instead of being burned.

One morning when his father and George Murphy awoke they saw that the earth which they had put over the charcoal was covered with tiny footprints. The prints were about two inches long, and exactly the shape of a human foot. The marks of the heels and the toes were clear cut.

The whole surface of the pit was covered in tiny footprints and gave the impression that a number of little people had been dancing on the fresh earth surface. The two men were greatly surprised at what they saw. Neither had seen anything like it in Ireland. They had heard a great deal about fairies while back in the homeland, but had never seen any of their footprints.

The men were loath to disturb the earth and waited a long time for someone to come and verify what they had seen, but as nobody came they were forced finally to uncover the pit. If there has been any cameras in those days they might have taken a photo, but there were none, so they had no evidence to show their families and friends

Both Mr. McNamee and Mr. Murphy made wide inquiries as to whether anybody else had had a similar experience, but they could not find that anybody had. So they came to the conclusion that they had been specially favoured.  Some to whom they told the story suggested that the foot-marks were those of some small animal, but both men strongly averred that the marks were like those of miniature human feet much smaller than those of a new baby’s feet.

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Mr. J. B. McNamee tells another story that about 1870, just after they were married, his father and his mother had an experience with a banshee. They had started home from a dance at a neighbour’s and were going by way of a bush road, when they heard nearby a weird cry, unlike anything human they had ever heard. It was a half sobbing, half moaning cry, as of something in dire distress. Mrs. McNamee said: “Maurice, can that be a banshee”?

As they were not far from the house of the dance, they decided to go back and let the people know what they heard. As they walked back they heard the cry a second time, and before they had reached the home of the neighbours, they had heard it a third time. When they told the neighbour and those who were still at the dance what they had heard, they all turned out to listen. But the cries were not repeated.

Three days later a man was killed in the bush close to the house where the dance was held. , Mr McNamee says the early settlers all believed in fairies, banshees and ghosts, and that ghost stories were the favourite amusement at every evening gathering. Ghosts were not talked about at barn-raisings or daytime gatherings, as there would not be any “kick” in talking about ghosts in the broad daylight. The telling of ghost stories gave every night gathering a “kick.”

relatedreading

Faeries on the Malloch Farm

The Faeries of McArthur Island- Dedicated to the Bagg Children

Oddities — Lanark County Puffball Mushrooms

Beware of the Lanark County Fairy Rings

The Banshee of Kingston Mills

The Sugar Bush Fairy Poem

The Dreams of a Sugar Plum Fairy

Somewhere in the Lanark County Woods– Inukshuk — Faeries of the Woods?

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Somewhere in the Lanark County Woods– Inukshuk — Faeries of the Woods?
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Photos Dana Cote

QUESTION: when walking down an old logging road and you come across multiple tree stumps carved into mushroom caps—are these signposts for something, or just a bored reclusive whittler?

 

Kevin Locke Anderson side road is where these mushrooms are and I believe they were made by the guys that log back there

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Photos Dana Cote

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Photo-Jennifer E Ferris

Jennifer E Ferris–I know them also. I think they are simply a sign of the owner, or perhaps Lanark County’s version of an Inukshuk, ie: I was here.
Have you yet found the wee chair from a stump? It’s adorable!

 

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Photos Dana Cote

 

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Photos Dana Cote

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Photos Dana Cote

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Photos Dana Cote

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Photo- Jennifer E. Ferris

 

I love things like this. I would like to think faeries had their way with these trees, but I know better. But I can dream can’t I? More like my mystical creatures wear logging boots and caps. Has anyone any idea who carved these?  These mushrooms carved from a tree stump still rooted in the forest ground are some of my Lanark County Wonders.

 

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Walking and Hiking around Lanark County click here

California Road Trail click here..

Believe it or not, the California Road exists. It is found in the Municipality of Lanark Highlands, in Darling Ward, south of White Lake. Although this road is well recognized and publicized on local maps and, it has a long history in the annuals of local settlement, it goes through some very wild Canadian Shield country and is a very rough, unmaintained road, passable only with any vehicle that has at least twelve inches clearance. California Road makes a very good walking trail.

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One of my favourite clippings today.. Clipped from The Ottawa Citizen, 15 Jan 1938, Sat, Page 2 Carp Farmers Believed that the Faeries Held Meeting CLICK to read,

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun andScreamin’ Mamas (USA)

 

 

relatedreading

Beware of the Lanark County Fairy Rings

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Beware of the Lanark County Fairy Rings

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Die to the damp weather lots of mushrooms have been spotted through Lanark County and even the rare Blue Mushroom have been seen. If you do not know the history of the Blue Mushroom be careful around them as they are said to be food for the Leprechauns. Leprechauns eat some nuts, different types of wild flowers and mushrooms.

Did you know that under European law Leprechauns are a protected species? So if on your wanderings you happen to spot a leprechaun, you can take a picture, but you must leave the little fellow alone– even in Lanark County.

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Right Next to Giant Tiger in Carleton Place

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Right Next to Giant Tiger in Carleton Place

There is a said to be a  Leprechaun colony located in Portland, Oregon. The journalist who first said that it was a leprechaun colony—these leprechauns could only be seen by him—wrote about the adventures of the leprechauns who lived here. They say the leprechaun is the poor cousin of the fairy — but if you see any out and about or any fairy rings– please let me know.

Perfect Fairy Ring

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Right Next to Giant Tiger in Carleton Place–There was a semblance of a fairy circle there but someone had kicked them all over. NO leprechauns for us!

fairy ring, also known as fairy circleelf circleelf ring or pixie ring, is a naturally occurring ring or arc of mushrooms. The rings may grow to over 10 metres (33 ft) in diameter, and they become stable over time as the fungus grows and seeks food underground. They are found mainly in forested areas, but also appear in grasslands or even in the Lanark Highlands.

Fairy rings are the subject of much folklore and myth worldwide—particularly in Western Europe. While they are often seen as hazardous or dangerous places, they can sometimes be linked with good fortune.

Of course it can take a darker turn when the fairies curse those humans who dare to intrude upon their circle. Locals in Somerset, England, used to give fairy rings the forbidding nickname “galley-traps” as late as the twentieth century. They believed that when a man who had committed a crime passes through a fairy ring, he is doomed to hang within the year.

In Scandinavia, you didn’t have to be a criminal to fall victim to the curse: anyone entering a fairy ring would be haunted by illusions forever after, unable to tell reality from imagination. The curse may be related to a specific aspect of life, like food: one tale warns that after taking part in the fairy’s dance circle, a man will crumble to dust at the first taste of non-fairy cooking. Other folk tales warn of more general punishments such as disease, bad luck, or an early death.

In all these tales, a ring of toadstools marks off a space distinct from the human world. Therein lies its fascination, and its peril. Whether the curious human escapes with only bruises or whether his time in fairy territory addles his brain permanently, he cannot stay with the fairies. They are beautiful and intriguing but ultimately unknowable.

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How to forge ahead with wild edibles in Lanark County—Sarah Cavanagh–Hometown News-August

The world is your oyster! Well maybe not your oyster in Eastern Ontario but quite possibly your leek, your berry, your apple or your fiddlehead. We are blessed in our region to have a plentiful bounty of wild edibles right outside our door.

If you have ever considered trying your hand at the 100 mile challenge, from May to October in Lanark County is the time to do it. The 100 mile challenge refers to consuming only foods grown, raised and produced within a 100 mile radius of your home. The idea was first described by J.B. MacKinnon and Alisa Smith in the book The 100-Mile Diet. The book spurned a Canadian TV series based in Mission, British Columbia that followed six families who agreed to consume only foods grown, raised and produced within a 100 mile radius of their home for 100 days.

You might be saying to yourself – I live in town, it’s not like I have access to a 100 acre farm! Alas, there is no need. This afternoon, I had a delightful bowl of wild berry crumble foraged from my backyard right in the heart of Carleton Place. You don’t need to go into the depths of the wild to find wild edibles (although it certainly offers more variety). Many can be found in backyards, parks and along public trails.

Now a word of caution to the novices in our midst. Never eat anything you aren’t 100 per cent sure is edible. Ask a local, sign up for a foraging seminar or grab a copy of the Peterson Field Guide. Many poisonous plants are mistaken for edibles and some are only edible in certain stages of growth or have certain parts of the plant that can be eaten. All wild mushrooms are a bit of a forager’s Russian roulette so study up. The reward is some delicious (and free) meals for the summer.

There are some great local resources for the foragers among you. The Valley Wild Edibles Facebook page as over 900 members, all discussing wild edibles and sharing tips and tricks.

In the past few years there have been a variety of “wild food” walks in our area hosted by groups such as the Lanark Wild Food Club. Bodywork for Women, a local company that hosts workshops and offers therapies for myofascial release, lymphatic drainage, Chinese therapeutic massage and reflexology,  hosted two talks this spring at the Carleton Place arena. You can find their page on Facebook at: facebook.com/getherfixednow/if you’d like to keep an eye out for their 2018 offerings.

These are great opportunities to learn from experts and hone your food hunting skills. The Wild Garden (www.thewildgarden.ca) hosts learning walks and online resources for the new forager. The company also offers monthly herb boxes that the website describes as an “opportunity to connect with and learn about the wild edible and healing plants of the Ottawa bioregion.” There is a theme each month and edibles are delivered to your door. Typically the boxes contain a loose tea blend, an infused honey/syrup or vinegar, a seasoning blend, a preserve, salve, incense etc.

Another great online resource is www.ediblewildfood.com, which provides recipes and blog posts on how to survive on wild edibles at various times of the year.

You may find you are not such a novice once you get reading up on the practice. There are some classic spring favourites like dandelions (which can be used in salads, as a coffee substitute or to make syrup), wild leeks, asparagus and fiddleheads that many of us local Lanark kids have harvested, eaten or at the very least heard about.

Once you hit the sweet spot between mid-June and late July the berries are plentiful – we have classics like strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries, but also some lesser known treasures like the gooseberry. These are commonly foraged items and most of you, like me, probably spent many childhood afternoons filling your faces with every sweet thing we could find growing in the fence line.

Once mid-September hits, we’ll be filling our baskets with apples that are ripe for the picking down most backroads.

There are some less common but equally delectable options – alfalfa, bull thistle, cattails, sunflowers and milkweed are all wild edibles. In fact nothing is quite as astonishing as the versatility of a cattail.

Something to remember if harvesting wild food, specifically in spring, is to never over harvest. If you want the crop to return next year you have to leave some behind and be weary of the roots. Only take what you can use. Also it’s a good to pay attention to where you are foraging to make sure there are no obvious area pollutants or bad water sources that could make the food unsafe for you to consume. Basically avoid chemical spray zones, factories or right along a big highway.

This article was first published in the August issue of Hometown News. For more articles from our August issue, pick up a print copy at a local retailer or read their digital version.

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun andScreamin’ Mamas (USA)

  relatedreading

The Faeries of McArthur Island- Dedicated to the Bagg Children

The Sugar Bush Fairy at Temple’s Sugar Bush

The Dreams of a Sugar Plum Fairy

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The Faeries of McArthur Island- Dedicated to the Bagg Children

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The Faeries of  McArthur Island- Dedicated to the Bagg Children

 

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Photo Linda Seccaspina

 

Louise and her Grandmother were in their sitting room gazing at the rushing river outside wondering what they were going to eat for dinner. They silently worried what would become of them, as the cupboard was as bare as Old Mother Hubbard’s. Louise told her Grandmother that she would fill up the kettle and make her some tea. In the meantime she would make a wish that the faeries might come and bring them something to eat.

“Make the tea” her Grandmother said, “but do not depend on the faeries to help you as there is no such thing as faeries”. Louise was positive there was such a thing as faeries, but she dared not argue with her Grandmother, and took her pail and went into the woods on the other side of the Mississippi River. As she dropped her pail into the well  she heard a voice after she drew up the water.

“Drop it again and see what happens” said the fairy sitting on the side of the well. Louise smiled at the tiny figure, but told her she did not need anymore water.

“But you do need bread,” replied the fairy who insisted she drop the pail into the well once more.

Lousie did as she was told, and when she brought up the pail there was a large loaf of bread and a piece of cheese in the bucket. She thanked the fairy and told her that she knew the faeries would help her. She ran across the bridge, back to the house, and set the table. Louise told her Grandmother that the faeries in the McArthur Island woods helped her but, the Grandmother still did not believe her even when she brought home a strip of bacon and more bread the next morning from the well in the woods.

 

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The next morning the landlord told them that they must leave as he could not afford to have renters that did not pay and Louise and her Grandmother went to sit next to the well on the island. The Grandmother told Louise that if her faeries were real they would give them a comfortable home to live in. Like magic a small cottage appeared and the fairy told Louise that surely the Grandmother must believe in them now.

The Grandmother nodded her head and agreed that no one should ever give up on faeries as she had done. Always remember that through faeries a child’s imagination is stimulated, and sometimes good deeds will come from it if you really believe.

I wrote this small fictional tale because of something Kelly Bagg told me at her father’s wake. She told me how her late father Bill Bagg used to tell his children that there were faeries in the woods of McArthur Island. Sometimes in the afternoon, or after dinner, he would take his children over to the island so they could look for faeries.

Faeries are invisible and inaudible like angels, but their magic sparkles in nature. Bill Bagg remembered the words of Robert Louis Stevenson that:  “every child must remember laying his head in the grass staring into the infinitesimal forest and watch it grow populous with faeries”.

Now each time I drive over the back bridge I remember Kelly’s tale and I stop and look for faeries. So to whomever develops this land in the future I beg you, please leave room in the woods so the faeries can dance.
And so they linked their hands and danced
Round in circles and in rows
And so the journey of the night descends
When all the shades are gone

 

 

 

 

Stories about Bill Bagg

 

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The Curious World of Bill Bagg –The Deer Heads

The Man that Brought “Canada” Back to Carleton Place – Bill Bagg

Come on, Let’s Go Down in the River –Photo Memories

One of Us– Memories of Bill Bagg

Before and After with Bill Bagg and the Mississippi Gorge

 

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun andScreamin’ Mamas (USA)

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place.

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I have been writing about downtown Carleton Place Bridge Street for months and this is something I really want to do. Come join me in the Domino’s Parking lot- corner Lake Ave and Bridge, Carleton Place at 11 am Saturday September 16 (rain date September 17) for a free walkabout of Bridge Street. It’s history is way more than just stores. This walkabout is FREE BUT I will be carrying a pouch for donations to the Carleton Place Hospital as they have been so good to me. I don’t know if I will ever do another walking tour so come join me on something that has been on my bucket list since I began writing about Bridge Street. It’s always a good time–trust me.

Are You Ready to Visit the Open Doors?

 

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