Monday, February 29, 2016

Fairy Houses

Halloween, Forest, Mushroom House  Do you remember as a kid, when you'd spot a small place off under a bush.  One that looked a bit like something lived there and your mom simply said "Its a fairy house."

You'd smile, looking for little flying creatures similar to Tinkerbell from Captain Hook.  You'd stare and think maybe you just saw one fly from the place.  Your mom would tell you not to get to close because you didn't want to scare them.

Did you know that a man was given permission to create gnome houses at Little Buffalo State Park in Pennsylvania near Harrisburg.  The artist created around 40 whimsical houses in tree roots, hollow logs, and on stumps that lined the trails people hiked.

Each house had its own saying attached to it making it more of something to believe in.   Kids loved the gnome houses spread out around the park.  Think of the game you could play with your little ones as you walked through the park.  It makes it more fun and you see more than you might otherwise.  Unfortunately, the artist was told to remove the houses because the park was afraid that the increased human traffic would cause additional compaction of the soils and increase human litter which could affect wildlife habitat.

The good news is that two nearby towns are willing to accept these houses as part of their park systems.  The artist who created these houses built them to get kids out of the house and away from their electronics.  He feels he reached his goal.  Once it is decided where the gnome houses will go, the artist will adjust the houses to fit the new places because they'd been customized for the original locations.

I understand the park trying to balance human impact with maintaining a proper wildlife habitat but don't they also want more people to use the parks?  Don't they want people to know all the cool things they have to offer?  I enjoy going through state and national parks because when I go in, I'm helping to support something that was started over 100 years ago to preserve so many wonders.

I am glad other places stepped in to help out the builder and artist.  I'm glad that his work was recognized and respected.  Above all, I'm happy this whimsical fantasy will continue to entertain both children and adults.

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