Hawthorn Fairy


After writing about the Fairy doors and Fairy Raths, it is the time to speak about the Fairies themselves. In Ireland, fairies are associated with Hawthorn trees, especially the solitary ones or those growing together with the oaks and aspens. In May and early June all the countryside is swathed in the white garlands of blooming hawthorn: fairy season comes to Ireland. The Fairy tree holds strong magic forming a portal to the fairy realms in the Otherworld, and there is nothing I love as much as a good old portal 🙂

Hawthorn tree is respected, and has always been sacred to mankind. Farmers work around them, and no one in their right mind would fell a lonely hawthorn tree or anyhow damage faerie property. In the 1990-s, the upgrading of the National Route from Limerick to Galway was delayed for a nearly ten years, and the Ennis bypass was eventually rerouted to accommodate a lonely hawthorn tree and avoid disturbing the little folk. Fairies can be vindictive. You wouldn’t like a bad luck accompany you for the rest of your life, would you. They say that even in the 1950, rural people would shout warnings before throwing water out the door lest a fairy should be passing.


If you have the Hawthorn in your hedge, you can use the flowers to make a good tea (mix them with some other herbs because of their strong effect), the leaves to add to your salad, and the berries (haws) to make jelly or jam. That would help you reduce your blood pressure, stimulate your heart and act as a mild sedative.

There are some pictures I took of a Hawthorn fairy to illustrate this blog post.


I saw the fairy at the shore of Ballyscanlon lake, Co Waterford.


It is a beautiful lake with clear water an peaceful surroundings.


The Hawthorn tree in question grows very close to the lake. Fairies wouldn’t like to cross a stream, but there are many fairies that live near the water.


If you click on the picture to enlarge it, you will see a flock of tiny mosquitoes sitting on the rock near the flower.


Fairies know everything that is happening in their realms. Nothing goes unnoticed.


This little Robin knows her well: fairies use birds to fly from place to place 🙂

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The Sun goes up, and it is the time for the Fairy to use her magic and return to her Otherworld realm.


Hope to see you again some day.


Gateway to the Otherworld opens, and in a blink of an eye the fairy is gone.


Thank you for visiting Ballyscanlon lake with me today. May the fairies bring you all the best luck you need!

inese_mj_photographyHave a fantastic weekend!


  1. What beautiful photographs of nature and the gorgeous fairy.
    The Filipinos (or maybe just the ones, like me, from the “olden” days – haha!) believe all those stories about fairies. I remember as a child walking around on the fields anytime or even just outside the house at night, we would be mumbling “excuse me/us”, so we didn’t upset them if we happen to disturb them unintentionally. 🙂
    Thank you for sharing! Your posts are so informative and interesting to read. The pictures, of course, complete the package. I’m loving them.

    1. Thank you so much for your comment, Anne. We might think that the people of old were ignorant and believed in nonsense, but I think they were much closer to Nature, and their mind was unpolluted – it is why they knew more secrets. Thank you again for reading!

      1. It’s really a pleasure for me to read your posts and admire your photographs. Thank you, too.
        That’s a good way of looking at it. I now have a comeback for my 20-year old son. 🙂

  2. Ooh, I do love a nice fairy tale. How lovely that you found one who allowed you to take photos of her. She’s a very pretty fairy, too. The hawthorn flowers have a special place in country lore all over Britain, I think, and as the tree/bush flowers in May, it’s sometimes called May blossom. I loved the detail you included about the beliefs held in the Irish countryside. Old beliefs and customs linger on in rural locations. Delightful read, Inese.

    1. Thank you, Millie! When I did the research, I was quite surprised to find such differences in beliefs. Britain and Ireland have different fairies I guess 😉

      1. Ha ha. Perhaps the fairies in Britain don’t like dressing in green. 🙂
        Seriously though, I imagine the fairies in the UK are based on those found in Norse and Saxon culture, whereas Irish fairies will be based on Celtic culture. You’ve now piqued my interest enough to go and look this up! 🙂

        1. I am sure you are right about the origin of the fairies. I never thought about that, just wondered why are they different 🙂

          1. I don’t know either, and hadn’t realised they were different until you said so. Lol. That was just a guess, but it may be a factor to consider. I really like fairy stories (because I’m quite a soppy thing, really). I’ll definitely look it up when I get a moment. 🙂

            1. When I did the research, I found it very confusing that some articles said quite opposite things about the fairies and the hawthorn tree. I held to the Irish version 🙂

  3. Delightful post and gorgeous photography, Inese. Next time I walk past the hawthorn tree on our road, I’ll wink at the fairies. 😉
    Blessings on your weekend ~ Wendy

  4. Such a wonderful post Inese! I loved learning about the fairies and the Hawthorn trees. And the photos are magnificent as always.

  5. I’m sorry to hear that shouting before throwing water out the door didn’t last much later than the 1950s. After all, not only fairies get wet. Anyway, I loved the photographs. I learned from them that fairies are very beautiful, but also rather bigger than I imagined. 🙂

    1. Jean, they say that the fairies only live in solitary trees, not in the hedge 🙂 You might try to plant a berry and grow your personal fairy tree. I would love one 🙂

          1. I think it will be some time next year, Inese. We have a boat just outside Belturbet so we can sleep on that while we work on the house. We have grandchildren in Derry and family in Dundalk and Dublin, so Cavan is a lot nearer to them than Youghal. Also, property prices are much lower up that end of the country.

            1. You will be so much closer to your family, and there is plenty of water in the area 🙂 I have been to Cavan to see a chiropractor, and also on my way to Ballyliffin. Dublin airport is very close too.

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