Thursday, March 31, 2016

Fairy Investigation at Erla Bu

"Erla Bu"

I recently took a little “artists adventure” to a horse farm in New York State. We have a top-secret project here at the studio and were in need of some horsehair for a puppet character we are building. Since it is spring, it’s the perfect time to trim the ponies. A friend Linda was nice enough to invite us over and help us with our project. And the horses were nice enough to lend us their hair. Here is a photo of the little one and her hair in pigtails ready to be trimmed.

I saw a steep hill that over looked the property that kept drawing my attention. As I had my camera in hand, I asked if I could possibly hike up and take some photos and Linda obliged. The hill was very steep and took some ingenuity to climb my way up. It was too steep for me to go all the way to the top and for the rest of the distance I used my zoom lens. One thing I felt right away was an uneasy feeling of being on sacred ground and of being watched. I had a tingling like that of a warning not to get too much closer. I knew this was the place for a fairy investigation!

There were huge slabs of stone sticking out of the edge of the hill. There were some beautiful pieces of pink, white and black granite that surely sparkle when the sun is shining. But it had rained earlier in the day.

There were markings I noticed etched on a huge stone and as I followed them I realized they lead to a tiny doorway marked by two large branches poised perfectly over the archway. From my experience, normally nature doesn’t pose itself in such ways. I knew it was a fairy entryway. So there were no mistakes as fairies can be tricky I spoke out loud and reassured the fairies that I was a friend and that I came to visit. I asked if any of them wanted to be seen on camera and that I would be taking pictures. I was careful not to disturb anything around me.

Then I began randomly taking photos hoping to catch a glimpse. As I looked around there were several cavern openings. The dreary clouds covering the sky shadowed the little nooks and crannies and made them seem even more pitch-black dark. I wondered what could be peeking out at me. I could feel many eyes on me. I must admit I was a little nervous, as some fairies do not like strange visitors.

After reviewing the photos, one in particular stood right out. It looks like one fairy decided to step out and have a look. Maybe he was curious and heard me or maybe I caught him on a gathering trip on the way back to his underground world. He seems to have a hat and is carrying something, maybe a bow. I will leave it up to you to find him and everyone I have shown has pointed him out right away! See below…

As I was taking photos of the edge of the hill from the corner of my eye I saw a flash of light on the rock next to me. I slowly turned to the rock and responded by asking if the fairy might want a photo and told them to pose and smile for the camera. Later it was pointed out to me that indeed I had caught a small woodland fairy posing just on top of the rock.

This spot seems to be an entire fairy village or fairy fort. It is positioned just above the horse barn. Which from fairy folklore seems to be a favorite place for fairies as they have a particular fondness for horses. I must say that the horses are the happiest horses I have ever met. Below is a photo of Oreo and she is absolutely beautiful. She has the prettiest blue eyes and after showing my mother the photo she noticed she has special characteristic’s that make her different than any of the other ponies she is familiar with. What stood out to her was that she looked almost part unicorn. Could an ancestor of the magical creatures be a reason why the fairies decided on this spot?

Either way this is definitely a magical place. The owner Linda explained how her family is from Norway. I wanted to know more and asked her to share a little information with us.

Question: You mentioned that your family is from Norway. What part of Norway and can you tell us a little about any stories you can remember from your child hood about fairy folklore?

Answer: I was born in the US but my parents were from southern Norway. I spent many summers there as a child and I remember my grandmother telling me the folklore of the trolls and how they lived under bridges and were bad and not to be trusted. Somehow through the years the fairytale and their bad reputation must have been reversed because the troll figurines today are friendly looking and smiling. I collect a few myself.

Question: Are you familiar with what seems to be a Fairy stone fort over looking the property and have you ever hiked to that area?

Answer: I'm not exactly sure that area where you took the pictures is a fort, but there is a path right above the rocks that we hike across. My daughter Kelly goes up there often. Funny she feels eyes are looking at her too when she is up there. 

Question: Have you ever seen any strange lights on the hilltop?

Answer: I can't say that I have seen any  strange lights but I did pull a newborn baby deer from a crevice in the rocks not far from your pictures. I heard the call of the baby doe, she cried out ma  it sounded like a child calling for its mother. It was at night and dark and at first i thought it was a bird calling out so I didn't think much of it,. It wasn't until the following morning that I heard the calls although this time the calls were fainter. I followed the sound until I came to the spot and deep down in the dark crevice I heard I ran and got a pair of leather gloves and put them on because I was fearful that what ever I was going to pull up from the dark might bite me. I reached down as far as my arm could reach and sure enough I felt something soft.  I grabbed it and pulled it up through the crack and to my surprise it was a baby deer not more than a day old. The mother must have given birth on the rocks. At this point she was very weak. I tried to get her to drink milk or water but she couldn't. The poor darling died in my arms about an hour later. 

Question: Oreo seems to look very well for her age of 29. Other than having such a long life span have you ever noticed any special attributes about Oreo that may be attributed to unicorn ancestry? Are there any magical stories about her that you can share with us?

Answer: Oreo is the barn mascot. She has touched many hearts through the years especially the children from St Mary's children's hospital. For many years we did therapeutic riding with the very sick children.  We would sit a child on Oreo or lay them on her back if they were too ill to sit up and there would be an instant sense of peace, calmness and joy in the child. Oreo was my two daughters first riding partner and together they traveled all over to shows. Oreo did not know her size and she would stand ten feet tall next to the big horses as if she were their size her head held high as she would receive her ribbons! Oreo bonds well with all animals and people. I have a picture of her standing next to a bear that was laying in the grass next to her. (I attached a pic) My funniest memory of Oreo is when we first got her my daughter Lindsey, who was about 6 at the time, walked her into the house without me knowing it. From upstairs I hear her saying sit, sit. I said to myself who is she talking to? I look downstairs and there is Lindsey with Oreo trying to get her to sit on the couch!

Oreo with a GIANT bear laying in waiting...

Question: Are there any stories or strange happenings with the animals that you may be able to attribute to fairy folklore?

Answer: You made a very good observation when you said the horses are happy.... They are so content and happy. The barn is a very peaceful place. If you are ever stressed or down all you have to do is be around the animals for a few minutes and your worries disappear.... Two white doves showed up around three years ago and then another one about a year ago. My husband wants me to ask you what you think the symbolism of the 3 doves are?

To answer Lindas question, traditionally in Fairytales the number 3 is very magical. Quite often in fairy storys you will see 3's in the title. Some examples of fairytale titles are below:

The three-legged goats
The three spindles
The three golden crowns
Three flowers

When ever fairy tales were told about magical animals they usually would transform into people or people would transform into them or they talked and granted wishes. Sometimes fairies would shape-shift into animals.

As for the doves, birds are very sensitive too and picky about where they want to live. Once a dove decides on a home, generations will come back over and over finding that place safe an happy. Doves are the birds of peace. When it comes to meaning you would have to be open to receiving the message yourselves. It would always be a tailored message from nature to you and only you can fully understand the meaning.

Question: Seeing such a magical place it is only fitting that you should officially name the Fairy village. Considering the history of your ancestry, what would you imagine the name you would give?

Answer: My grandparents built a cabin in the woods in Norway and they named it Erla Bu (Erland was their last name and bu means house) i have attached a picture if it. my sister thinks you should ask " the faires" what they want to call it.

Actually Erla Bu seems a perfect name. In researching the meaning of Erland its origin is "stranger" and with Bu, that would be "Strangers House" ... nothing is stranger than a gaggle of fae folk! Further looking at the meaning of "Erla" being "noble". So then it would mean "Noble House" I think unless we hear complaints otherwise this would be very fitting.

Question: Would you be willing to keep an eye on the area and see if you could catch any further photo evidence?

You have peaked my interest now and I will keep an eye out

Thank you Linda for adding even more magic to this investigation. Look forward to seeing if any further evidence will show itself. Until next time and thanks for reading,