Ask a Fairy Fall 2020
Our fairy friends Thimble Hickory and Blossom Dewdrop are back to answer your questions about North Country nature and the lives of fairies. While they're settled into the warmth of the tropics for winter, they're already excited to return to the North Country next spring!
#1: Cal Lock Morgan, 7, How many clovers are there in the world?
Wow! Although sometimes we like to count the clovers that grow in patches around our house (we’ve only ever gotten as high as 84) it would take a long time to count all the clovers in the entire world! We can tell you that there are millions and millions, maybe even more. Now, for the more rare four-leaf clovers that are a sign of good-luck, there is about 1 of those for every 5,000 three-leaf clovers. That’s still quite a lot!
#2: Cal Lock Morgan, 7, Do fairies live in groups or by themselves?
Most fairies live with a friend two, just like Blossom and I do! That makes it a lot more fun because then we have someone to collect berries, play with chickadees, and bounce around leaves with. Plus, when we make our long migration from Canada all the way down south for the winter it’s nice to have a friend to fly with.
#3: Cal Lock Morgan, 7, What do you make your houses out of?
The houses that you left your questions at are some of the fanciest houses we get to stay in while we’re migrating, but when we’re on our own we make our houses out of anything we can find in nature. That includes the foundation of the house, which we’ll make with bark, sticks, or even a nice mushroom. Then, we’ll use leaves or pine needles for insulation, and finally we’ll decorate it! We search for pretty flowers, acorn caps, neat pebbles, or feathers dropped by a bird. You can make houses for us too, using the same materials, and we just might stop on by!
#4: Cal Lock Morgan, 7, How are blizzards and snowstorms different?
There is only a little bit of a difference between a blizzard and a snowstorm, and it’s all in the definition. A blizzard has to have winds over 35 mph, you have to be able to see only a quarter of a mile or less due to there being so much snow, and it has to be guessed that it will last for at least 3 hours! A snowstorm is just a less severe blizzard, with slower winds and better visibility. But, you still have to be careful, even in a snowstorm!
#5: Daisy Lock Morgan, 4, How does lightning form?
Lightning is a type of electricity, like what is in a lightbulb. During a thunderstorm, in the clouds way up in the sky there are a lot of little frozen raindrops bouncing around and hitting each other. All of this bouncing around creates a positive electrical charge at the top of the cloud and a negative charge at the bottom of the cloud. Since opposites attract (like a magnet!) The electricity at the bottom of the cloud wants to connect with the electricity on the ground, and when the cloud gets big enough all of those charges in the cloud can reach the ground, which creates a whole string of charges we see as lightning!
#6: Axel Lock Morgan, 7, How does wind form?
Wind is just air that is moving around, which happens when some parts of the Earth get really warm due to the sun while others don’t. Warm air rises, because it is lighter, while cold air sinks to replace the space that the warm air just left. This circulation of air is what makes the wind blow! Lots of different types of winds and air movement makes all the different wind patterns and storms that we have, such as jet streams, hurricanes, and tornados!
#7: Angel Dafoe, 25, Who started this idea?
Hi Angel! This idea was started by the amazing staff at Nature Up North and former SLU Professor Dr. Jessica Prody. Every once in a while we visit our North Country pals and because we are quite busy the staff doesn’t see us too often. However, we love getting to see the North Country plants and animals, and we love when people visit our houses and ask questions about North Country nature!
#8: Claire, 4, How do fairies fly? Is it with magic or like birds?
Hi Claire, that’s a great question! Well, we fly more like dragonflies do. We have wings in our backs that allow us to sway around the sky. Our wings also allow us to fly quickly just like dragonflies do. We’re very fast and sometimes hard to see because of how we fly!
#9: Ryan Barnard, 4, What do foxes live in the woods?
We love our fox friends! We were just playing around with our fox friends today in the woods (socially distanced!). Have you seen Nature Up Norths coloring pages? You can find a fox coloring page right here: www.natureupnorth.org/virtual-nature-coloring-book
#10: Isabel Cleary, 5, Are you the tooth fairy and what is your name?
Thank you for your question! Thimble and I aren’t the tooth fairies, but we do know the tooth fairy! Thimble and I are two traveling woodland fairies who love to migrate through the North Country on our way south towards the tropical forests where we spend our winters. I love spending my time exploring the tops of trees and enjoy surfing down the falling leaves in autumn. Blossom likes to spend many of her afternoons befriending bees and butterflies in the forest. She also loves to take dewdrop baths every morning while listening to birdsong.
#11: Thomas Cleary, 5, What magic can you do and do you use leaves for plates?
Great question! We fairies have a type of magic that helps the forest and all our plant and animal friends living in it, but we also count on you to make sure our forests are healthy and strong. We all need to do our part to create a healthy and safe environment for us and others living here! A few things you can do to help preserve our magic is to respect the animals and flowers around the forest. And yes, we do use leaves for plates! We are partial to the leaves of wintergreen plants because they are the perfect size, and they smell lovely!
ABOUT ASK A FAIRY
Each spring and fall, a merry group of fairies migrates through the North Country. In the fall, they head south for the winter, in the spring, they are northern bound for the summer. These aren't just any fairies – these fairies live in the woods, where they spend their days bonding with birds, talking with trees, buzzing with bugs, and getting friendly with fungi. As you might guess, over time they’ve become expert naturalists. Each season during their visits, you'll have the chance to visit their fairy houses on new North Country trails and ask them any questions you have about nature. Thank you for participating. Please contact email@example.com with any questions or feedback. Thank you!