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. Beautiful images! I had no idea about Hawthorn tree until your post, it’s amazing how the tree can contribute to humans life in many ways – from tea to food. And the fairies story makes it even more special!

  2. This is one of my very favorites of your posts….especially because I have been to both Limerick and Galway, and still have relatives living in County Clare.

    1. Oh cool! The road I am talking about is exactly in that area 🙂 I love Co Clare – my kind of landscape. I think I have already used some pictures from that area, but I have to write a blog, some day.

  3. Awesome post! The fairy is sooo beautiful, and I adore everything I learned about fairies here today! TY Inese!

  4. I enjoyed the fairytale story you read to me and the gorgeous images — I feel so spoiled! Thank you very much. I shall go to sleep with no nightmares tonight.

  5. How fun and magical it was walking around Ballyscanlon lake with you and the lovely Hawthorn fairy! Ah, I can tell you had a fantastic and playful time taking those enchanting photographs. Now, I shall have a seat and enjoy my Hawthorn tea. 😀 xo

    1. It was a rather unplanned photo shoot, but I am quite happy with the result 🙂 The day was so beautiful, that I wouldn’t be surprised if all the fairies in the area left their underground realms to enjoy the sun. xxxx

      1. Not only would the fairies leave their underground realm for the sunshine but also to spend time with the sweetest fairy photographer in the land. ❤

  6. Beautiful words and photos, Inese 🙂

    Imagine if they had cut down that hawthorn tree to make way for a road. If the fairies hadn’t cause traffic accidents, people’s superstition would have done so! [Not sure about my English there — those are mind-boggling tenses to get my head around in a hurry!]

    My blood pressure is so low that a hawthorn would probably kill me if I ingested it — or would it be the fairies killing me? 😉

    1. I used hawthorn pills some time ago, and they do lower blood pressure. Didn’t kill me, must be made from the farm-grown hawthorn berries 🙂

  7. Perfect post, Inese – I just loooooove fairies!!! 🙂 And it´s so wonderful how the hawthorn is so much respected in Ireland because of them! Germans would never do that!! 😦 Wish you a magical week 😉 Lots of love! xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    1. Thank you Sarah! I used to have a wonderful old German book of herbs and ancient traditions of healing. Pity I have lost it somewhere when moving from place to place. It was a great reference book. Many nations have a great heritage of this sort.

      1. That´s too bad! But I know how it goes, some things always get lost when moving around… Maybe you´ll find something similar in a flea market one day 😉 I also love old books about traditional healing and herbs – mostly though just because of the wonderful illustrations they show 😉

        1. Yes, I too love old illustrations. I bought that book in the flea market years ago, and enjoyed reading it, but then our life changed, I gave away an awful lot of books and boxed my favorites and left them with a friend. The friend died. Three of my beloved books disappeared… Such is life.

          1. Too true – c´est la vie! I also gave away so many books, which I´m regretting now! I´ve become more cautious with that particular habit of mine 😉

  8. This post was enchanting and full of interesting facts and myths. I thoroughly enjoyed the story and your pictures capturing the Hawthorne fairy, Inese. ❤

    1. Thank you for stopping by, Robin! I had been thinking about putting up a hawthorn-related mythology blog, but wasn’t sure how to illustrated it. Then the opportunity just came up 🙂

      1. The way you captured the last photo is like a painting, Inese. You are definitely a professional photographer with artistic flair! Hugs, Robin

  9. Thank you for sharing the fairy folklore. We don’t have as much of that here in the States. It’s one thing I really love about Ireland. I’m glad I had a chance to visit even if it was long ago.

    1. Thank you so much, Linda! I am always thinking of magic in June. Summer solstice is my favorite time. Must be a pagan gene or something 🙂

  10. What a lovely post. I loved the way you gave us to much, folklore, wee recipes if we go looking and some recent history snippets too. As for the pictures? Well, you never fail to fit your words to your beautiful images. Thank you. Once again a pleasure to come by xxx

      1. Oh yes a rare fairy indeed. I see your model was a young photographer. I specially love that pic two down from the wee robin. Nicely evocative of fey land x

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