Fairy Fire



Fairy%20background_fullAt the Delta campgrounds, Thane, Wylie, Jasmine, Ben, Michael, and myself, went on a Vision Quest that began with the finding of Hrothmund, the Dragon Slayer Axe of the Fairy Council. Once we found Hrothmund, we could see the good dragon, Campe, asleep under the ground, only her humped back was visible. We were not sure what we were looking for, or what we would find, but after finding of the missing eye of Arges, the good Cyclops, we were led deep into the dark forest where we found Fox Fire, otherwise known as Fairy Fire.

So as to not alarm the unbelieving adults out there, here is the scientific explanation about what we came upon. But, what can’t be explained, is, why we found Fairy Fire and the end of our Quest. Fairy Fire is extremely rare! It is said that those behold it, are gifted with an unlimited imagination, something no computer chip can hold.

Jon Presco

1. Glow-in-the-dark wood
No kidding! I was camping down in Red River Gorge in Kentucky. I was chopping on a tree stump next to our camp with my hatchet. After dark, I was in our tent and noticed small glowing bits along the side of our tent. I thought they might be the “glow worms” I have heard of. Turns out they were small chips of wood that flew off that stump I was chopping on. The newly exposed wood on the stump was glowing an errie greenish color too. I tried bringing some wood chips back to show but they stopped glowing. I’m assuming it’s some kind of fluorecent bacteria or fungus in the wood. Or is it supernatural! Anyone else ever see this phenomena?

Foxfire, also sometimes referred to as “fairy fire”, is the bioluminescence created by some species of fungi present in decaying wood. The bluish green glow is attributed to luciferase, an oxidative enzyme, which emits light as it reacts with luciferin. Although the purpose is unknown, it is widely believed that the light is meant to attract insects to spread its spores or, to act as a warning to hungry animals, similar to the bright colors exhibited by some poisonous or unpalatable species of animals.[1] Although generally very dim, in some cases the illumination may be bright enough to read by.[2]

The oldest recorded documentation of foxfire was written by Aristotle in 382 B.C. His notes make a reference to a light that, unlike fire, was cold to the touch. The Roman thinker Pliny the Elder also mentioned glowing wood that appeared in olive groves.[3]

On the suggestion of Benjamin Franklin, it was used for light in the Turtle, an early submarine.[4]

Although there are many more literary references to foxfire by early scientists and naturalists, the true cause was not discovered until 1823. The glow emitted from wooden support beams in mines was examined, and it was found that the luminescence was due to fungal growth.[5]

The “fox” in “foxfire” may derive from the Old French word fols, meaning “false,” rather than from the name of the animal.[6] The association of foxes with such fires is widespread, however, and occurs in Japanese folklore.

In popular culture [edit]
In the poem “The Ancient Track” by H. P. Lovecraft fox-fire is seen glowing in a field and bog where the narrator was convinced he would find the town of Dunwich.[7]
In the episode “Trapped” of the television series Lassie, Timmy and Boomer look for foxfire to keep girls away from them during Martha Tyson’s Halloween Party.[8]
In the novel Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, the characters Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer use foxfire as a source of light in order to dig a tunnel.[9]
In the episode “Our Town” of the television series X-Files, foxfire appears near where a dead body was found in the woods.[10]
In the episode “The After School Hexer” of the anime Ghost Hunt, foxfires appear in several rooms of the high school in Mai Taniyama’s dream.[11]
In the romance novel Foxfire Light by Janet Dailey, a horse and its rider are spooked by the light while riding through the woods in the Ozarks.
In the song by John Denver, “Foxfire Suite,” foxfire is referenced.




Last summer I hacked away at an old tree stump. At night, the wood chips glowed. What caused this?
—Ron Hay, Trent-Severn Waterway, Ont.
The Answer
No need to call Ghostbusters: A fungus that infests trees likely caused the glow, says Sylvia Greifenhagen of the Ontario Forest Research Institute. The phenomenon is called bioluminescence: the emission of light by a living thing.
She suspects your fungus was of the genus Armillaria, the most common group of glowing fungi in Ontario. Along with dead wood, Armillaria invades the roots of live trees, sometimes moving up through the stump and lower trunk, causing decay. “A healthy tree is usually able to keep the fungi at bay,” Greifenhagen explains, “however, if it’s compromised in some way, the fungus has a better chance of gaining a good foothold.”
The fungus sends out tiny, thread-like strands called mycelia to invade the wood; these glow. Researchers are still studying the science of glowing fungi, but they know that it involves luciferin (diabolical!), a light-emitting molecule apparently found in most organisms that bioluminesce, and luciferase, an enzyme that catalyzes the chemical reaction producing the light. Bioluminescent fungi emit light continuously, but you only saw it after you exposed the mycelia.
The light will last for a few weeks, says Greg Thorn, a biology professor at the University of Western Ontario, because the fungus needs moisture. “As the wood and the fungus dry out, the mycelia will stop glowing.”
Scientists know why some organisms bioluminesce. For example, fireflies signal mates. “But nobody really knows why the mushroom does it,” says Thorn. “What is a mushroom signalling?”
Possibly insects, at least in some cases of glowing fungi; one theory is that insects help to spread fungi spores.

According to Hesiod, they were strong and stubborn. Collectively they eventually became synonyms for brute strength and power, and their name was invoked in connection with massive masonry. They were often pictured at their forge.
Uranus, fearing their strength, locked them in Tartarus. Cronus, another son of Uranus and Gaia, later freed the Cyclopes, along with the Hecatonchires, after he had overthrown Uranus. Cronus then placed them back in Tartarus, where they remained, guarded by the female dragon Campe, until freed by Zeus. They fashioned thunderbolts for Zeus to use as weapons, and helped him overthrow Cronus and the other Titans. The lightning bolts, which became Zeus’ main weapons, were forged by all three Cyclopes, in that Arges added brightness, Brontes added thunder, and Steropes added lightning.
These Cyclopes also created Poseidon’s trident, Artemis’ bow and arrows of moonlight, Apollo’s bow and arrows of sun rays, and Hades’ helmet of darkness that was given to Perseus on his quest to kill Medusa.

Campe was a dragon with a woman’s head and torso and a scorpion-like tail. Nonnus (Dionysiaca 18.23–264) gives the most elaborated description of her.[1] Joseph Eddy Fontenrose suggests that for Nonnus Campe is a Greek refiguring of Tiamat and that “she is Echidna under another name, as Nonnos indicates, calling her Echidnaean Enyo, identifying her snaky legs with Echidna’s”, and “a female counterpart of his Typhon”.[2]
Campe was set by Cronus to guard the Hecatonchires and Cyclopes in Tartarus after Cronus did not release them from their imprisonment there when they were imprisoned by Uranus. She was killed by Zeus when he rescued the Cyclopes for help in the battle with the Titans.[3]

Another possible origin for the Cyclops legend, advanced by the paleontologist Othenio Abel in 1914,[8] is the prehistoric dwarf elephant skulls – about twice the size of a human skull – that may have been found by the Greeks on Cyprus, Crete, Malta and Sicily. Abel suggested that the large, central nasal cavity (for the trunk) in the skull might have been interpreted as a large single eye-socket.[9] Given the inexperience of the locals with living elephants, they were unlikely to recognize the skull for what it actually was.[10]

Arges (Greek: Ἄργης) was one of the Cyclopes in Greek mythology. He was elsewhere called Acmonides[1] or Pyraemon.[2] His name means “bright” and represents the brightness from lightning. He is one of Gaia’s children by Uranus. In fear, Uranus is said to have locked Arges, along with his brothers in Tartarus. They were later freed to fashion lightning bolts for Zeus during his attempt to overthrow Cronus

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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1 Response to Fairy Fire

  1. Reblogged this on Rosamond Press and commented:

    Making magic can be a danerous thing. Once a magician. always a magician. Much is expected of you. When you can’t produce, people want to hurt you. Best amke no magic, and encourage others close to your, to follow suit. For millions of Christians POTUS is a very magical being.

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