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.
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
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.
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)
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)
The theme of this year’s Wee Faerie Village at the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme is Faerieville, U.S.A. I think we spent the most time mesmerized at the Underwater Academy for Seafaeries!
Sadly, autumn seems to be very late in arriving this year. But Janet and I stopped for lunch at the museum’s Café Flo, and since it was chilly and we weren’t sitting in the sun this time around, we had two cups each of mulled warm apple cider.
Can you feel the wind blow? Even the wee smallest of towns requires more power than the resident fireflies can provide, so these fairies, in keeping with changing economic times, retrofitted one of their ancient grain-grinding windmills to be a power plant that turns wind into energy. The other two windmills continue to work in their traditional function; one for grinding grain for faerie bread and the other to pump the water from the river to all the homes and businesses in Faerieville. Our motto: When the wind blows, we all win.
The theme of this year’s Wee Faerie Village at the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme is Whimsical Kingdoms. Last week Janet, Kathy and I visited and had a lovely morning and afternoon walking through the outdoor exhibit, enjoying the cool, crisp autumn air and fanciful creations.
I love this time of year! We stopped for lunch at the museum’s Café Flo, where the addition of a cup of warm apple cider was a most welcome pleasure.
This year I was particularly drawn to all the earth tones and textures in many of the fairy castles. But we were also lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a colorful fairy! Following are a few of my favorites…
Many years ago a sugar maple seedling twirled to the ground. Inside, a mighty tree hiding a faerie castle, hid inside. For seven and seventy years the tree grew tall, until the winds of Hurricane Sandy took its toll. It was time for the faerie tower to emerge. Coaxed out of hiding by chain saw and sander, this whimsical, yet sturdy castle “welcomes” all faeries fluttering down in search of shelter. ~ Wee Faerie Village: Whimsical Kingdoms
To view my pictures from past Wee Faerie Villages click on “Florence Griswold” in the categories below.
Some of my readers may remember back a couple of years ago when Janet, her mother and I went to the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme to see a fanciful outdoor exhibit, Wee Faerie Village: Land of Picture Making. And in 2011 the theme was fairy tale birdhouses, if I remember correctly. Last October I missed it but this year Janet and I had a chance to go again, this time bringing her friend Kathy, too. And this year the exhibit theme was Wee Faerie Village in a Steampunk’d Wonderland. As in Alice’s wonderland.
For those who don’t know what steampunk is – I didn’t and I had to look it up – it’s a genre of science fiction that typically features steam-powered machinery of the Victorian 19th century rather than advanced technology. Think Jules Verne.
Local artists are invited to create fairy-scaled installations on the museum grounds for the public to view during the month of October. On the left is one identified as Cheshire Cat Reappears by Robert Nielsen & Billie Tannen.
For some reason I wasn’t much in the mood for taking pictures, so I left my camera in the car, and used my cell phone to capture some of the more appealing creations. (I seem to have lost my Muchness!)
As we were wandering around Kathy happened to see something we hadn’t noticed before, a real live fairy! Her mother gave us permission to take her picture, after which the fairy scolded us and asserted that she wasn’t a real fairy. But we know better!
We enjoyed a leisurely stroll through the gardens, appreciating the lovely autumn weather and scenery. Lunch was very tasty at the Café Flo, where we dined outside and savored lingering in conversation on the terrace overlooking the Lieutenant River.
After we finished with the fairy village Kathy had to leave, so Janet and I checked out the indoor art exhibit, Life Stories in Art. We saw collections of the Tonalist and Impressionist paintings of Mary Rogers Williams (1857-1907), the intricate glass sculptures of Kari Russell-Pool (b. 1967), and the modern sculptures of Mary Lightfoot Tarleton Knollenberg (1904-1992).
Ebb & Flo, a brother/sister faerie team live in this riverside home made of driftwood. These faeries control the tide waters of the Lieutenant River. Every six hours, Ebb is busy pulling the salty waters into the marsh and then it’s Flo’s turn to push them back out into the Sound again. This keeps the water always in motion and the marsh a dynamic and beautiful ecosystem for birds, fish, insects, and more. The many shades of green keep the painters busy mixing their vibrant and sunny hues. ~ Wee Faerie Village: Land of Picture Making
Today I baked spaghetti squash for the first time, and served it with a grass-fed ground beef marinara sauce. Mr. Logic thought it tasted good, and so did I! And so the paleo culinary adventure continues…
Zoë and Scarby, sweet little carnivores, are on a grain-free diet, too, and seem pleased with it for the most part, as pleased as cats will allow themselves to admit.
Scarby is still giving Zoë a wide berth, and hissing occasionally to remind Zoë about how things stand between them. She spends her evenings close to Tim on the couch, purring loudly. We’re being patient and encouraging with her.
Zoë provides us with morning entertainment – playing with and pouncing on pony-tail elastics, preferring them to all other toys. And she talks to us all the time. 🙂 My little shadow.
Kit and his Family of Dragons live in these fireplace hearths and small buildings situated within this majestic beech. Known for their benevolence and magic, these dragon faeries guard and bless hearths and supply firewood in exchange for having a home. Built of stone and surrounded by trees, these castles are the year-round homes for dragon faeries that inspire artists to include sun-baked beech trees and brilliantly burning fireplaces in their paintings. ~ Wee Faerie Village: Land of Picture Making
Button Bella and her family have nestled their home in this thick green ivy patch. Button fairies are a rarity and to view a button faerie dwelling is an uncommon gift! Button Bella and her family have scooped up scores of buttons, some most likely from the artists, to adorn their home.
~ Wee Faerie Village: Land of Picture Making
Last October, Janet and I went to see a temporary outdoor exhibit at the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme. This year we visited the museum’s gardens again to see a new and different installation, Wee Faerie Village: Land of Picture Making. Janet’s mom, Liz, joined us this time around and treated us to a delightful lunch at Café Flo, where we were seated with lovely views of the Lieutenant River.
This year there were thirty-three whimsical creations to enjoy, and at least five extra fairy dwellings not on the map, marked with an FF flag. The FF stands for “fringe fairie.” We were enchanted!
In the garden we found this fruit (below) and have no idea what it could be. Can anyone possibly identify it?
Liz asked me to take this lovely picture for her, of raindrops on the underside of a leaf lying on the grass…
It’s snowing like crazy outside, after four hours of rain. The changeover has occurred a lot sooner than predicted, so I’m happy we got up early and finished our errands before the October nor’easter made it here. I bought new slippers while we were out and my feet are delightfully warm and happy now. Time for a few more fairy tale birdhouses!
The Florence Griswold Museum sits on the banks of the Lieutenant River, pictured above. As you can see, the grass is still a summery green and the colors have not changed on all the trees yet. And it is now snowing – three seasons all in the same week. Janet has decided that the Lieutenant River will be a good place to have my first kayaking lesson in the spring.
#7. “The Sea King’s Palace” by Susan Zirlen & Mahady Makrianes (in honor of Pete, a prince among men), based on The Little Mermaid.
#9. “Neverland Adventures” by Kristen Thornton, based on Peter Pan. London, where Peter, Wendy, Michael and John are searching for Peter’s shadow…
Captain Hook has captured Tinkerbell…
#10. “Up a Tree” by Sue Chism, based on Sinbad the Sailor. Giant birds wrecked Sinbad’s ship…
and kidnapped him…
#12. “The Troll Bridge Saga” by Sheila Wertheimer & The Museum’s Garden Gang, based on Three Billy Goats Gruff.
Of course this is my favorite fairy tale because it’s Norwegian…
That was a freaky hungry troll “under” the bridge!
Tomorrow we’re having a Going Away/Halloween party for Nate & Shea and the gang. Cooking two vegetarian slow cooker dinners. Maybe there will be a goblin or two who aren’t camera-shy…