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Fairy Garden house (copy)

Fairy gardens complete with little gourd or mushroom-shaped houses are becoming popular.

Sometimes the things that take place are too bizarre to even explain. You know things around the country are crazy when even The Onion cannot find anything more ridiculous than actual fact. Why would we question anything that goes on anymore? I continue to be amazed, amused and astonished at the goings on around me.

Today’s version of believe it or not is not political, or religious. I suppose it is environmental, which makes it everybody’s business. I support environmentally motivated actions and laws. I just never thought it would come to this.

The issue is fairy houses. Those adorable teeny, tiny structures children create to invite fairies to live in their yards, or at least visit. My granddaughter makes them out of leaves, pine cones, twigs, grasses and any miscellaneous organic material nearby.

Children love to make little fairy houses and fairy gardens. It keeps them outdoors in fresh air. They are being creative. They are not playing video games. What can be more harmless? One would think that is the end of the story.

Yet on Mohegan Island off the coast of Maine, fairy houses have been stomped, crushed and deconstructed by the fairy house police, better known as Monhegan Associates Inc., whose members feel a need to destroy the cutest little houses you ever could see.

The reason is legitimate. Some of them are not up to code. Yes, there are rules against more than one story that might block the view of a nearby milkweed plant, or too many plastic cars up on blocks in the front yard, I guess.

The structure that made the news used building materials that were not certified by the nature reserve. It included seashells and pennies stacked five stories high in fairy scale, which amounted to about 4 feet tall.

It is forbidden to use any materials from the shore (seashells) or your pockets (pennies). Picking live plants also is forbidden (moss was incorporated). My granddaughter adorns hers with wildflowers so she, too, would break code if they weren’t from her own yard. I have never seen LED lighting or brass doorknockers, but you can bet they would be fined and destroyed immediately.

The demolition team, as no one calls them, really are just concerned with the environment. One such person calls herself “The Stomper,” and is quite comfortable stomping out these miniature habitats. Not wanting any semblance of housing for an invasive species, she is vigilant in her self-imposed detect and destroy territory protection.

There is a nature park in Henrietta, New York, that has started to encounter similar problems. What started out to be a nice fairy trail four years ago, with fairy houses installed by a local artist, has turned into a free-for-all for any old squatters.

Early on simple rules were posted like glitter is litter for animals, and stay on the trail, you don’t want to step on a fairy or get poison ivy. But lately they have had to get more specific. Visitors have begun to erect structures hardly fit for upstanding visiting fairies. People are leaving plastic soldiers, glass beads and lots and lots of glitter (fairy dust, you know). They also trample the wildflowers and ferns on the forest floor by straying off the paths and designated areas.

When animals and songbirds start ingesting metals and plastic flowers, and the mayapples and jack-in-the-pulpits are crushed, regulations get written. Use only natural materials. No picking live things, or disturbing other living things. No multiple family housing.

The best bet is to put your fairy house or fairy garden in your own back yard. Then you can make your pebble-lined path as long as you like and use your own fern leaves for umbrellas on your wet leaf patio, complete with little twig chairs and tables.

If state parks and nature preserves want to avoid attracting too many fairies, invite them to your own backyard and sit back and wait.

Kay Stellpflug is an educator and trainer in interpersonal and professional communications. She works and lives in Beaver Dam and can be reached at