Posts Tagged ‘butterfly’

The Adventures of Glimthink and Fimfizz: An Intro


I want to introduce you to Glimthink Shortfuzz.  He and his twin brother showed up on our patio yesterday morning, mushroom house and all.  Kind of like a Brigadoon thing, I guess.  Or perhaps it had something to do with it being Star Wars day, I didn’t think to ask.

The Shortfuzz boys are a bit elusive, but friendly just the same.  It took a little bit of conversation before I was able to understand them.  While these particular gnomes do speak English, their dialect has quite a funny accent that takes some getting used to.  Glimthink is definitely the more shy of the two, and whenever I go out to visit with them, he’s always in the house.  He seems to be the one that does more of the household chores, taking out the trash, preparing the meals, that sort of thing.  I hear he makes a mean vegetable stew.  Although I’m not too big on veggies myself, I’ve promised him that I will try some in the future.  I’m thinking he’s also quite skilled in alchemy, as he often has a mortar and pestle in his hand, pacing back and forth and muttering to himself (in words I can’t understand) while grinding up whatever concoction he’s working on.

The Shortfuzz twins live in this mushroom house.  It appears to be pretty cozy.  From my vantage point, it looks as if it’s only one room, but I have a hunch there may be more than meets the eye.  Kind of like Mary Poppins’ suitcase.  Or a genie’s bottle.  He can sometimes go all the way out of sight in there, and emerge with all sorts of household junk that I can’t see when just peering in the door.  I hope to be able to investigate this further in the future.


This is his brother, Fimfizz.  Fimfizz Shortfuzz, of the Clan of the Highfolk, to be exact.  He was quite emphatic about the title.  He is more boisterous than Glimthink, and has much more to say.  He has explained that their home was in a region known as Silverwood Hills, and he’s still trying to work out how exactly they were transported to Texas.  (At least I think that’s what he said, his accent is a bit thicker than his brother’s.  He also gets distracted easily, going off on different tangents, which can make it a bit hard to follow).  His job is to work the land, so he can often be found out amongst the foliage.  He is quite proud of his green thumb, and promises that soon the landscape will be transformed by tiny iridescent flowers, growing all along the hillside.  He’s also an avid birdwatcher, and has put up several birdhouses around his home.  I think he told me that this was a Tinyfinch house.  Or was this one the Peaswallow house?  I can’t remember.


He did say that Tinyfinch’s are attracted to shiny things, so he’s put up several mirrors around the garden in hopes of luring more near. (Although I caught him glancing in the mirror himself quite a few times, so that may not be the only reason they are there.  Are gnomes a vain folk?). Peaswallows are apparently the larger of the 2 species, with magnificent plumage and a beautiful song, so I’m hoping to be able to see one. He said to keep my eye out once the Creeping Jenny turns gold. That’s usually when they are migrating by, but the Texas peaswallows might keep a different schedule.


Fimfizz also has quite a whimsical spirit.  He showed me this special project of his.  He called it a fairy garden.  He told me that he is just fascinated by stories of fairies, and he’s hoping that this garden will attract some.  Since he’s never actually seen a fairy, he’s not sure if this house would work, but he’s heard they are quite small so he figures it will do.  It’s still a work in progress, but he planted a tiny mushroom, because who doesn’t like mushrooms?  He figures if they don’t take to the heart house, they could make a home out of the mushroom, like he and Glimthink did.  And then he also put a purple butterfly in the garden.  It’s not a real butterfly, of course, but he read somewhere that fairies like to paint butterfly wings.  He thought this would be great fun for them, spending hours around their butterfly model, practicing new techniques and color combinations.  (He seemed quite proud of himself over the whole idea, actually).  And then of course, you can also see Beauregard’s house in this picture.  Beauregard, or ‘Bo’ as they call him, is their pet toad.  I haven’t actually seen Bo yet, but I’m sure he’s around somewhere.


I’m hoping Glimthink warms up to me as we get to know each other better.  Maybe I can catch a picture of him someday when he’s out of the house.  He just stays at the door and peers at me, with quite a curious look in his eye.  (I’m assuming his eyes look curious, since I can’t actually see his eyes.  I need to remember to ask about that, what is with the hat over the eyes all the time?)  He seems to be as fascinated with me as I am with him.


Anyway, that’s all I’ve been able to learn about them so far.  They both seem to be quite busy, always moving about.  They seem happy to stop and chat, but after too long I can tell they want to get back to whatever it was they were doing.  They are fascinating little creatures, and I hope they stay around for a while.  They’ve brought quite a bit of joy to our family in the short time they’ve been with us.



PS. Did you get the title reference? Gnome-ception? A gnome garden within a gnome garden? Like Inception? The movie? Get it? Moving on.

(Disclaimer:  I know some people are serious about their gnome-lore.  I have not done adequate research to assure that anything contained in the above story correlates with any of it.  Please do not email me that there could not possibly be a gnome named Glimthink Shortfuzz from the Clan of Highfolk that lived in the Silverwood Hills because the Shortfuzz family obviously lived in Perrenland, duh.  Or that Fimfizz never had a twin.  Or that they aren’t Star Wars fans.  This is my story, and my gnomes.  All characters appearing in this work are fictious.  (Except that they really do live in my garden).  Any resemblance to real gnomes, living or dead, is purely coincidental.)

(Disclaimer 2:  The title ‘The Adventures of Glimthink and Fimfizz: An Intro’ seems to imply that there may be ‘The Adventures of Glimthink and Fimfizz: Something Else’, like there may be another episode.  Right?  While this would be fun, it may, in fact, prove to be too ambitious.  I make no claims as to the future of my Shortfuzz twins.  You’ll just have to stay tuned. 🙂

NOTE:  Did you like my gnome garden?  It’s actually entered in the Fairy Garden 2014 contest over at the Magic Onions.  Check it out to see more cutie patootie tiny garden worlds, and get inspired to make your own!

Fairy Garden Contest :  www.theMagicOnions.com


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For those of you that have followed my blog for awhile, one year to be exact, you may remember Spike.  Spike was a pipevine swallowtail caterpillar that I got for my birthday last year.  If you have no idea what I’m talking about, take a quick peek at the link to get up to speed.  Spike was on a pipevine plant, that was inside a cut-off 2 liter bottle, with water in the base.  I was supposed to be able to watch Spike turn into a chrysalis, and then into a butterfly, and then let him go outside.  Only Spike didn’t make it.  I had this huge build-up on my blog about it, with daily pictures and updates.  And then he never emerged from his chrysalis.  I was kind of traumatized over the whole thing.  I mean, really, who kills their birthday caterpillar?  All of my pictures of Spike are on my old computer, but if you go over to ‘categories’ down the right side of the screen, you can click on ‘Spike’ and read all about him.  Since I don’t have any pictures of him to show you, how about a pretty flower, will that do?


Anyway, this year I was gifted 2 more caterpillars.  Only this time they are Eastern Black Swallowtails, and they’re on parsley, I believe.  I sure hope they’re more hardy.  I really think that Spike got too cold in our apartment, so I have a lamp on the new ones.  Here’s the set-up…


No, I’m not going to leave the lamp on them all the time.  I don’t want cooked caterpillars.  But they really are more active with the lamp, so I think they like it.  During the day I’ll put them outside for some fresh air. 


I’ve named them Laverne and Shirley.  Shirley is the smaller one on the left.  They might be more appropriately Bert and Ernie, but since they can’t tell me, L&S it is.  I’ll take the coke bottle off at some point and get some better pictures of them for yall.  But, this is what they look like.  This one is one of my Mom’s.  She grows them, so to speak.  Rescues them might be more accurate.  The birds and chipmunks think they’re mighty tasty.


This is one she has at the moment.  When they get mad, they poke out those yellow spikes on their head.  Neat, huh?  Anyway, I’ll let you follow along with Laverne and Shirley this year.  Hopefully we won’t all be disappointed like last year.  Maybe I can be a better caterpillar parent this year.  They’re also really fascinating when they eat.  If I can figure out how to take video on my camera and upload here, I’ll try to catch it for you.

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Here’s Spike at 8 AM Tuesday morning, a full 24 hours after the last pictures.  He’s half chrysalis now.  He’s suspended by just those 2 silk strands.  They must be very strong.  Again, not the greatest pictures, but I didn’t want to move him to a better lighted spot.  I’d feel so awful if I knocked him off his perch.  I’m sad that he turned so quickly, but he must have been ready.  Stay tuned.

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I turned another year older yesterday, and had a great birthday surrounded by family.  It’s funny how the older you get, the less build-up you have for your birthday.  I can remember when I was young, being excited about my birthday for weeks.  This year, I almost forgot about it.  But nonetheless, it was still wonderful.  My husband and I went out to my parents for a delicious cook-out with all the trimmings.  Yum Yum.  My Dad makes the best steak I’ve ever had, hands down.  I also got some very generous and thoughtful gifts.  One in particular I’d like to share, was a caterpillar. 

Yes, I got a real live caterpillar.  In a nutshell, there’s a high school biology teacher in town that sells all different types of caterpillars in a soda bottle, and you get to watch it through the stages, turn into a butterfly, and then let it go.  It’s really the neatest thing.  My Mom got a monarch one at a craft show a while back, and she got hooked.  Now she knows all about butterflies, has all the right plants planted in her backyard, and grows butterflies.  Mine is a pipevine swallowtail, I named him Spike.  I’ll show you the best pictures I could get, but they’re not the greatest,  Since he’s in a coke bottle ( I assume he’s a he, but we’ll find out when he’s a butterfly), it’s hard to get great shots.  You can go to this website, to see some better pictures, including a close up of the caterpillar.  You can see the butterfly looks different if it’s a male or female.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get any pictures of him when I first got him last night.  Supposedly he’s supposed to wait a couple of weeks to turn into a chrysalis, but it looks like he’s going to turn sooner.  The way he’s hanging from the plant, usually means they’re about to turn.

So here’s how it works,

You can see Spike up in the top right corner of the picture.  His head and butt are attached to the plant with his silk.  The middle of his body is suspended.  He’s on a pipevine plant.  Each kind of caterpillar eats a different kind of plant.  The bottom of the 2 liter coke bottle is cut off and taped to the plastic pot.  The pot is filled with water, and the pipevine stuck down in it, and then the water is covered with a lid so Spike doesn’t fall down and drown.  The top neck of the coke bottle that you can’t see is covered with some netting so Spike can get all the air he needs.  So I don’t have to do anything, I just watch him, and then let him go once he turns into a butterfly.  Here’s his close up.

These pictures were taken at 8 AM on Monday morning.  I’ll try to take a picture at least every day so you can watch his journey with me.  I think it’s fascinating.  Thanks Mom!

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