steps of passing ghosts

10.22.21 ~ Florence Griswold Museum
dragonfly from “Twisted Sisters Magical Menagerie” by Kristen Thornton

Last week, Janet, Tim and I visited the annual Wee Faerie outdoor art exhibit at the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme, Connecticut. They have a different theme every year and the trail is open for the whole month of October. This year’s theme was Folly Woods, Awesome Wee Faerie Architecture.

butterfly from “Twisted Sisters Magical Menagerie” by Kristen Thornton

Historic real-world follies are ornamental buildings designed to enhance the view at grand estates, public parks, and gardens. The fanciful forms of a folly is its function. Often inspired by the classical architecture of the ancient Greeks and Romans, folly architects also borrow decorative elements from Egypt, India, and Japan. This year, the wee faeries present FOLLY WOODS, a collection of miniature architectural masterworks for you to enjoy.
~ Folly Finder program

butterfly and bee homes from
“Arden’s Edenesque Escape” by Vanessa Bunnell

Janet and I first started coming to these in 2011! I’ve missed a year or two for various reasons but it’s always exciting to come back and see the newest creations. Spending time with Janet is always a gift. It’s such a lovely setting on the banks of the Lieutenant River that we found ourselves captivated by the trees and flowers as much as by the little fairy buildings.

Gothic-style pavilion from
“Periwinkle’s Picturesque Pavilion” by Lynda Cmara & Bettina Rowlands
the Green Man tucked behind a net, waiting for spring
from “Periwinkle’s Picturesque Pavilion” by Lynda Cmara & Bettina Rowlands
fall colors in the Lieutenant River
“Gwyndolyn’s Gatehouse” by The Vernons
black walnut
from “Avery’s Surreal Aviary” by Madeline Kwasniewski & T. Arthur Donnelly
Avery’s special bluebird from
from “Avery’s Surreal Aviary” by Madeline Kwasniewski & T. Arthur Donnelly
“Flora’s Artistic Atrium” by Jessica Zeedyk

Listen …
With faint dry sound,
Like steps of passing ghosts,
The leaves, frost-crisp’d, break free from the trees
And fall.

~ Adelaide Crapsey
(November Night)

a barn owl from “Baron Belfield’s Arch” by Kathryn Stocking-Koza
“Baron Belfield’s Arch” by Kathryn Stocking-Koza
details from “Baron Belfield’s Arch” by Kathryn Stocking-Koza
One never knows when a fairy might appear!
giant turtle foundation of “Serena’s Sylvan Shelter” by Nancy MacBride
turtle top of of “Serena’s Sylvan Shelter” by Nancy MacBride
mushrooms from “Faye’s Mystic Garden” by Bill Vollers & Dawn Hutchins
from “Faye’s Mystic Garden” by Bill Vollers & Dawn Hutchins
“Rodger Dodger’s Hodge-Podge Lodge” by Billie Tannen & Bob Nielsen

If you want to see some highlights from past years just click on the Florence Griswold Museum category below and you will find all my past wee faerie posts. 🧚 Some of the artists have contributed before so if you click on their names in the categories below you might find things they’ve created in past years.

As nature descends into the sacred darkness it’s the season for me to honor my departed ancestors. This is the time of year when I feel their presence the strongest. The blessings of All Hallows Eve.

May you know that absence is alive with hidden presence, that nothing is ever lost or forgotten. May the absences in your life grow full of eternal echo. May you sense around you the secret Elsewhere where the presences that have left you dwell.
~ John O’Donohue
(To Bless the Space Between Us)

28 thoughts on “steps of passing ghosts”

  1. Barbara,

    That was a beautiful day to be close observers of faerie follies and fall foliage, but your camera skills, photo selection, and added texts and quotes (love the O’Donohue) enhance our experience by so much. Thank you for posting these!

    1. I’m so glad we could make this day happen, Janet! It’s hard to believe it’s been 10 years since we discovered this magical place. Thank you for your kind words and for your patience with my photographic starts and stops along the way. 🙂 And for the helpful hints when I couldn’t find the little props hidden in the creations. 😉

  2. Oh what a treat. I ached to touch the creation, to BE THERE with them. Thank you ever so much, what fun! The chairs I describe in Hilaryon Stories are relatives to these creations 🙂

    1. Oh Leelah, I have a feeling it would be so delightful to have you come with us to visit these fairy creations. It’s nice to know the chairs from Hilaryon have relatives on this side of the Atlantic. 🙂

  3. Sooo much beauty here, Barbara — thank you for sharing it. I love the barn owl and the bluebird and the mushrooms, and your fall color is stunning. What a wonderful place to visit!

    1. Thank you, Debbie! There were 23 creations in all, but I only highlighted a few of them. I think my favorite was the dragonfly wings made with the winged maple seeds in the first picture. 🙂

    1. I’ve often wondered how long it takes each artist to create and construct these little exhibits. Too bad they have to disappear at the end of the month. Happy that my pictures made you smile! 🙂

  4. Now THIS would be a fun place to visit! So many intricate small pieces of art celebrating or faerie sisters (and brothers?) Are faeries always female? Or can they be male? I especially like the picture of the tree branches from down below. Blessings on all your ancestors who live on within you!

    1. Well, for one there’s Oberon, king of the fairies! But I think all the flower fairies are female. You can see the covered nuts hanging on that tree and they were all over the ground. Some were cracked open. Another visitor, whose friends identified her as a biologist, identified the tree but I have forgotten what she said it was!

  5. What a delightful concept and a beautiful day! I spent many happy days building fairy homes in the woods with my cousin. We had a favorite spot by a mossy spring where our fairy town was located. This post brought back those memories.

    1. Those sound like lovely memories to enjoy, Anna! I used to build little villages in the woods, too, and my favorite prop was the tiny eastern hemlock cones. I used them for bushes in front of my little stone houses. A spot by a mossy spring sounds wonderful! We had a swamp in our woods…

  6. This looks like fun walking around the Wee Faerie exhibit and with a wee touch of Fall and a few flowers still hanging on, made it a delightful walk. How clever to incorporate this little village with a walk – no wonder you enjoy coming to this event Barbara. They have a very small faerie home that is inside a planter at the Botanical Gardens. I took some photos this Summer intending to use it for Wordless Wednesday sometime, but seeing your faerie village, I’ll just incorporate the photos in a regular post. I could not use the big camera to hone in on the pieces as they forbid that now without obtaining/paying for a permit for a photo shoot.

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed this wee excursion, Linda. Our colors are peaking now… It’s true that most museums don’t allow pictures taken inside but I’ve never heard of an outdoor garden prohibiting photography with a big camera, although most ban formal photo shoots and lugging in tripods and other equipment. I guess it depends on how big the camera is but my impression is that yours isn’t that obtrusive. Anyhow, I’m looking forward to seeing your faerie home whichever way you decide to present it! 🙂

      1. I did enjoy it Barbara – it’s too bad they can’t expand on their tiny faerie garden at the Botanical Gardens. It is easy to distinguish between mine and a professional – mine is a kit lens (75-300 mm). Some of the photographers have long lenses the length of their arm and they have their camera with the attached lens in a contraption which resembles a brace, rather than just a neck strap. The peak colors are gorgeous – ours started last weekend. We had a hard freeze last night and some flakes this afternoon. The northern part of Michigan (Gaylord) had a foot of snow yesterday with a few more inches today. I hope my faerie home doesn’t disappoint.

        1. We had a freeze warning this morning — it’s been 33°F since I got up — almost! My geranium is still hanging in there. (I leave it out for the birds.) I’m sure your faerie home won’t disappoint! 🙂

          1. We were very cold again this morning – at least you just missed the freezing mark. I hope the faerie garden pics look good in the post because they put it on the ground in the Botanical Gardens – they have no shelves of any type there. So I had to take the picture from above.

          2. These were on the ground, too, and most were taken from above, but I’m a lot shorter than you — hee, hee. However, I did sit on my ankles to get a few of them — thank you, yoga! 🙂

    1. Thank you, Lunar Euphoria! It was fun to visit and fun to get pictures of all the little creations. Glad you could come along to explore the secret Elsewhere.

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