Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Practical Magic Blogger's Party!

Once upon a time, in a land where trees grew tall and housed all manner of strange creatures, a girl named “Yellow Hair” went out for a walk...
Enthralled by morning light and bird songs, Yellow Hair walked and walked until she finally found herself lost in the woods.
Rainbow feathered birds of green and blue and yellow flew down from the tree tops as Yellow Hair sat on a fallen log to ponder where she was...

Too late she realized she ventured onto "Perdition Trail"! What she thought was the path petered out into dense brush and a tangled web of trees so thick you could almost see the sky, and now she was lost! Worse yet, as she oriented herself she realized this wasn't any forest. Oh no, it was a land of witches! A land of many fear! The legend said that all sort of supernatural creatures abounded there, some dating back to the long lost ages before man could write. Not even the most courageous heroes of Hollow Village would dare walk that part of the forest.

It was well known that for centuries a coven of witches met secretly each fall to practice their magic in that part of the forest... everyone in Hollow Village was aware of this, and not a soul would dare go into the woods when it grew dark and the witches of the night began their rituals...

Yellow Hair sat on the log trembling with fear... The beautiful birds of the forest heard her cried and settled down on her shoulders. They told Yellow Hair of a witch woman who lived in a lovely stone cottage deep within the forest. She was a good witch and Yellow Hair would find asylum in her cozy stone cottage. Over there... over there is where you would find the cottage!", said the birds signaling the far-off distance with their shinny wings. And so Yellow Hair followed the path dictated by the birds; hurrying in her steps before the forest grew dark and the night creatures began to come out...
A sound of wings fluttering above her made her look up and there, before her, was a man and his dog... or was it more like a gnome and his dog? At first Yellow Hair was afraid that he was one of the creepy men that inhabited the forest, but it was said that they all had hair of the darkest black, and although this man had a huge sombrero that covered most of his head, she still could tell that the gnome didn’t have hair--not a single hair in all of his round head!
Yellow Hair asked the good gnome if he would help her find the little stone cottage and the good witch who lived in it, but the gnome just looked at her in total surprise... he had to sit down for a minute to put his thoughts in order... he looked very perplexed.

The good gnome told Yellow Hair that he had traveled from far away in the forest, where he lived up in the treetops with his dog and had never ever seen a stone cottage in that part of the wood, or heard of a good witch before. “Nonsense”—he said. “There are no such things in this ominous forest”. And to prove he was right, he took Yellow Hair to look out over the canopy of trees... Yellow Hair was afraid to climb so high, and at first she had a lot of trouble maintaining her balance, but after some struggle and much giggling she finally felt very comfortable up in the tress, and was able to see a forest that stretched out to the ends of the earth in every direction...

And what do you know! Ah yes, a cottage indeed!! Yellow Hair could see the small white stone cottage nestled among wild roses in the distance. It was the most precious thing she had ever seen... a cottage swathed in mystery, yet so enchanting her heart was bursting with joy. The strangest and purest of light was falling down from the sky right onto this little cottage; like a magical veil, and there were myriads of flowers growing in the shade. Calendulas, poppies, love-in-a-mist and bachelor’s buttons grew like rich, flourishing grass... the soft lights of candles flickering on the windows of the little cottage made her heart sing... she was thrilled!

The old gnome saw the cottage too and was baffled by it, but wary of an evil presence that had already grown too strong, decided to go along with Yellow Hair... They walk together by dangerous waterfalls and through the thickest of forest. They could not even see each other because of all the trees... They tried to stay together, but they could not. The gnome went this way. Yellow Hair went that way.

When Yellow Hair finally reached the cottage she raced to it... as she reached the half open front door, she called out: “Is there anybody home?” Total silence. It was such fascination entering that silent cottage. As Yellow Hair came into the house she was pleasantly surprised to find that it was nothing what she had expected to be--a cottage filled with dust and cobwebs and stuffing falling out of the sofa cushions. Everything was in perfect order!

Hurrying along, Yellow Hair found another room filled with lovely objects. A feeling of peace embraced her. It was almost like being in her own home!

There was a table and on it there were beautiful fresh cut roses on pretty wee crystal vases, and there was a romantic looking milk glass lamp with a white shade that reminded Yellow Hair of a bride's perky skirt. Yellow Hair was particularly enthralled by an old photograph of a lovely maiden. Who was she? She pondered nostalgically. The lovely maiden reminded Yellow Hair of someone she once knew, but couldn't remember who.

A growing sense of being watched overwhelmed the girl. Outside the cottage, a sudden boast of footsteps was heard on the flight of steps leading nowhere. Yellow Hair remembered seeing those very odd stairs outside the cottage when she came in, and had wondered why they were there. It was the most curious stairs she had ever seen because it consisted of only four steps that lead nowhere...

Indeed, someone was approaching!

The footsteps became louder...

Faster.... terrifying!

Stricken by fear, Yellow Hair bolted from the room and down the hall. As she looked over her shoulder she could see the most mysterious figure swathed in black...

Yellow Hair was petrified! Oh she so wanted to believe this mysterious person was the good witch! But what about if she wasn't? The woman entered the cottage. Yellow Hair could hear her mumbling some sort of a spell in the kitchen: “One tablespoon dried wormwood, three teaspoons ground nutmeg, one teaspoon powdered mandrake root, thirteen drops of pine oil....”

She was probably working on some weird spell potion. Yellow Hair was sure of that! There was a variety of complicated bottles there in the kitchen. Poisons and healing concoctions and love potions maybe? Yellow Hair saw the woman place all her ingredients in a glass jar. She gently swirled her potion in a clockwise direction, sealed the jar tightly and then took the mixture to a cool, dark place. The potion was to be let there for 13 nights and then it would had to be filtered through a cheesecloth. The woman would use this potion to anoint her candles for wish-magic, jinx-breaking and spells to attract good luck, but Yellow Hair didn't know any of this...

Yellow Hair was fascinated by all this when all of the sudden, as if she knew that Yellow Hair was spying on her all this time, the woman turned around and said: Now then now then!... don't you stand there till the tea gets cold! Come help me carry the tray down the hall and we'll have some tea". Yellow Hair couldn't do a thing other than to carry the tray down the hall as she was instructed...

And what she saw there in that room gave Yellow Hair total confidence in the woman! She was for sure the good witch she was looking for! There was a table magically filled with all sort of goods. From the china to the tablecloth to the flower arrangement, everything was just beautiful, and there were eye-appealing dishes too, such as mushroom and chestnut soup and maple-orange cloverleaf scones alongside sweet chocolate and peanut butter mousse trifles and creamy pumpkin-custard tartlets and this and that...

After the tea ceremony was over, the good witch said to Yellow Hair. “We must hurry and send you back home before nightfall”. And so, the good witch took Yellow Hair straight to the curious flight of steps that took to you "nowhere". Or so Yellow Hair thought! The sky was already turning dark, and if you would had pay close attention to details you could had seen the witches already at work through the trees, as sparks from their spells and cauldron fires filled the night sky...

"Listen well”—said the good witch. “A memory can guide you home like the arrows that say “Path” can lead you through the thickest forest to the bright clearing... do you believe this? Yellow Hair said she did and closed her eyes as the woman instructed her to do. She looked inside her head for a memory of her very dear home and the minute she did this something wonderful and magical happened! When Yellow Hair opened her eyes again she knew exactly where she was! In her garden!!

Ah yes... ah yes!! She was indeed in her garden, the happiest of place of all places!! It all had been but a bad dream! Yellow Hair remembered having fall asleep under the warm afternoon breezes. Now. Finding herself there lying down on the carpet of green of her very own garden was just pure bliss. She was safe home and there was nothing more satisfying or rewarding than that!

The End! I'm linking this post to the Practical Magic blogger’s party going around blogland! The party starts on the 24th, but since I am busy entertaining some very dear visitors, I had to post a little bit earlier... hope you enjoyed the story!

As an addendum, I’m adding here some details about this post (which also apply to almost all of the post you’d find here), that I thought might be of interest to some of you.

I believe that a blog is an expression of one’s self, and thus I prefer to use my own photographs whenever possible. All of the images you see here are my property. Most of my stories take fly here, in my very own garden, but I immensely enjoy taking pictures of people and interesting things I see during our joyful walks in local parks and while camping. The moment I see a peculiar thing, such as the flight of stairs leading nowhere that I discovered in the middle of a campground this summer, my mind starts fantasizing a story that then becomes a new post.

Some of the people you’d see in my stories are just the lucky passerby or people that I don’t know and would probably would never see again. I just hope that these characters wont ever had the joy of finding my blog just to discover that they’ve been given a new roll in life as little gnomes and bad witches. We visited Multnomah Falls this summer and then the beautiful Oregon Coast, where we stayed for a couple of days. Some of the lush woods and waterfalls you see here came from there...

Also, I don't know of any witch or fairy (real or unreal) that would agree posing for my stories, so if you believe you’re seeing me way too much flying in brooms or flapping fairy wings around here, please pardon my "silliness".

More sappy stories to follow!


  1. This was a fun surprise to find here today. You are very creative and the story and photos are charming (double entendre?). I like the song too.

  2. You are so


    Hope you have a really nice evening
    Hugs from Håkan :)


  4. Oh Cielo!!! Thank you for the beautiful Fairy Tale you created! I loved it!
    I am going to read it to my daughter later when she gets home from school. I just know that she will enjoy it as much as I have. :)

    I think that all of your posts are just lovely and anyone that doesn't can just ... go. (I'm sticking my tongue out at them by the way). Anyone that can't have a bit of fun and fantasy in their lives don't belong here. They can go read political blogs or something. ;p


  5. Cielo..pure beauty..al your photos are mega-gorgeous..a super enchanting post! yay..that was fun!!

  6. Hi Cielo,
    Your "silliness" is pure delight! I love coming to find your fanciful stories... I am only waiting to hear of your plans for a book of your own! Your photos are as always enchanting:-))
    Thanks for the journey!

  7. You are amazing...Loved this...and great pictures...

  8. G'day Cielo ~ You shall never stop amazing me with your beautifully creative mind. You need a publisher, my special friend.

    IF you haven't met Kelly please visit her, she is a good friend of mine, & a published author.

    webpage blog ~ kellyaharmon.com

    You capture me every time I pop by, Cielo. Truly a precious lady, you are ... sweep me away again. I love your gardens.

    Have a beautiful week.
    TTFN ~ Hugs, Marydon

  9. Cielo, what a lovely post!
    That last picture of you is so beautiful.

  10. Breathtaking views....
    and magical place is here!
    I love it!

    You are wonderful girl, Cielo!

  11. Love your stories and imagination - where would the world be without those who imagined
    C.S. Lewis
    J. M. Barrie
    Mary Shelley
    Daphne Du Maurier
    Authors that popped to my mind!
    Hope you have a fantastic day!

  12. Cielo, pareces una verdadera hada en las fotos, preciosas todas, las de interior da una sensación magnifica tambien.

    Un abrazo fuerte

  13. and she lived happily ever after!


  14. You looks awesome,dear Cielo!!!

    all you photos are just beyond inspirational,are SO magical nice!
    Like the state of you mind,my beautiful Friend:-)*

    Love and hugs to you,

  15. CIELO,
    how lovely you are, that is a heavenly image of you. All other images so creative/magical.
    Love. Love.
    Joy. Joy.
    Thanks. Thanks.

  16. You are soooo creative ! Thanks for the nice pictures and words !

  17. Thank you for adding this "Delightful Story to my day"... It was beautiful

  18. Oh, my yes Cielo,
    We love your creativity. I have given you a blog award. Please forgive me if you don't participate in these things.
    Here is the direct link:

  19. Thanks so much for letting us enjoy your story and your magical photos for the Practical Magic blog party! :D

  20. Another wonderful story.....thanks so much!!

  21. I just love the story and the pics are so beautiful.
    Thanks so much for sharing.


  22. Wow, I love this post, really enjoyed the story and fantastic photos.Kat

  23. Cielo, que bonito!!! Love the pictures and the magical way that you have design them! Happy Practical Magic Hope!

  24. what wonderful photos and a very creative spin. I enjoyed the tale very much and was drawn into the story.

  25. Magical. That's the best way to describe this party post. :) I just love great photos, so, naturally, I absolutely love yours!

    -- Birgit

  26. Oh kudo's! Beautiful! What a grand party post! Thank you for the journey, I enjoyed it so!

  27. I enjoyed your charming story snd magical photographs! The stairs that go nowhere are curious indeed! :) Thanks so much for the smile! Blessed be!

  28. I loved reading your story and your pictures are beautiful!!

  29. What a fun story with lovely photos!

  30. Great story! Love this! Thanx! Join us too us for more Practical Magic at Practical Magic - How To Make A Magic Wand

  31. what a wonderful story to find! Lovely images also!

    be true to yourself and blessed you will be.



  32. I love your story... and the photos are lovely as well. :)

  33. great story!
    love your photos..have a magical day!

  34. Amazing post, ty for sharing
    love & light
    Trace x

  35. This was stunning and enchanting and oh so beautiful. I look forward to reading more of your wonderful blog.

    If you have not already done so, please feel free to come and visit with me:



  36. I loved seeing your beautiful photos and the story is quite amazing. I've decided to follow your blog immediately!

    Thanks so much.


  37. Oh, what a lovely story . . . I'm so glad "Yellow Hair" made it back to her garden safe and sound.

    Lovely story, lovely pictures . . . thanks so much for sharing!

    Blessed Be,

  38. CIELO I took a peek earlier and now I had time to enjoy your enchanting story. What a beautiful way to begin the second day of our party. Your post is magical. I am absolutely enchanted. Thank you for joining our party and for adding to the magic and fun. I also enjoyed the background story to your post! Have a beautiful Autumn.


  39. Your photos are amazing as is your imagination and story telling abilities!

  40. Dear Cielo,
    Thank you for your lovely, lovely Practical Magic Party post, even though I am a wee bit late, getting here.

    Gentle hugs,
    'Auntie,' who is being "Sweet Aunt Bridget," for the weekend

  41. What a wonderful post! Reminds me of Alice in wonderland too! I hope you'll come "fly" over to my blog and see what I have been brewing!

  42. Wonderful party post! Brightest Blessings!

  43. I am so amazed; what a creative soul you are..I am a new visitor and follower and cannot wait to visit again!

  44. Flying through for the Practical Magic Blog Party! ~Blessings~

  45. A beautiful and enchanting post! I am glad I stopped by your blog party! I had so much fun! I hope you'll come and visit me, too!


  46. Beautiful pictures for the blog party! I love them!

  47. A very lovely Magical story and you could easily be one of the pretty Witches in the movie. Very creative, gorgeous photography and I would luv to be part of your Cottage posts come one Monday when my house is more , shall we say ,in order…hehehe!
    Thank you for your lovely post and all of the work you put into this .


  48. Very magical post. Simply awesome photographs.

    Thank you so much for sharing your heart and talents with all of us.

    Brightest Blessings,

  49. BRAVA!!! Nicely done :)

    Thanks for sharing. Peace,


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