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Unken pose art!

I found this SUPER AMAZING print of a firebelly newt doing an unken pose:

Unken reflex!!

Unken reflex!!

and it led me to the Etsy shop Oni Oni Oni Art by SAG. Go check it out for art like these adorable works below!! I want them all… OOO, I think I have a frame that will fit all of them…

 

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Mythology Monday: Skinks and the little people

Many of the Native Americans had their own sort of “fair folk,” or “little people.”

Not actually a Native American fairy- a John Baur work.

Not actually a Native American fairy- a John Baur work.

Each summer, I help run an environmental camp and we have two members of the Cherokee nation come to speak with our campers. One of the speakers is a storyteller, and she has told stories in years past about the little people.

Brian Froud work

Brian Froud work

The little people are shy (they will only be seen when they want to be seen), they are mischievous, and, while they love to play tricks, they like to be left alone. There are different types of little people, some which live in rocks (these tend to be more mean spirited and should be avoided), some which live in the caves and dogwoods (these are generally kind hearted), and some which live in laurel thickets (these are pranksters).

Woods where the Cherokee would have lived. Imagine the little people there.

Woods where the Cherokee would have lived. Imagine the little people there.

I remember very vividly sitting out on the porch of a cabin, waiting with the storyteller for the campers to return from a hike, when a five lined (or “blue tailed”) skink came running up the wall.

Fivelined_skink

A five lined skink

 

Of course it caught my eye. She asked me what it was, and I told her. She got this incredibly deep expression on her face which I had never seen before in all my time of knowing her, one that clearly was drawing on memories and beliefs running deeply, and she said with this smile that is ingrained in my mind, “I remember we always said, when you see those bright blue tails, that means the little people are near by.”

"Raptor Rider"

“Raptor Rider”- This is pretty much what popped into my head.¬†

 

I don’t know why this struck me so deeply, all I can say is I felt her “storytelling power” when she said that. I could feel the importance of that memory and of what that meant to her and her culture.

So when you see a skink, be aware, some little people might be watching you!