© 2010 RC deWinter ~ All Rights Reserved

Dusk is rapidly descending into night, and you’re lost in a marshy thicket. You can’t find the path you were following home and sharp brambles grab at your sleeves. Your sturdy shoes are no match for the muddy marsh; your feet are slowly getting very wet, and your skin is beginning to prickle with unfocused fear.

Suddenly, small luminescences appear before you, each one seeming to call out ‘This way, this way!’ You freeze; the glowing lights have an otherworldly air. And you can’t decide which of the beckoning guides to follow.

Ignis fatuus (from the Latin for foolish fire) is another name for the will-o-the-wisp, the unearthly light sometimes seen hovering in bogs and marshes. The term will-o-the-wisp comes from an ancient folktale, still told in varying versions in England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the province of Nova Scotia in Canada and among descendants of the early Scotch-Irish immigrants in the Appalachian region of the US.

In the British Isles, will-o-the-wisps are often defined as fairy fire held by pookas or, in Wales, pwcas (mischievous, sometimes malicious goblins). Others claim the story is about certain man named Will, condemned to walk the earth forever in the Land of Lost Souls.

Some tales, particularly in Ireland, regard the ignis fatuus as the guardian lights of a hidden treasure, comparable to leprechauns. If one is courageous enough to follow the lights, one will unearth the gold. The will-o-the-wisp is also known as signal of treasure in Denmark, Sweden and Finland.

Digital oil painting.


night, fear, fantasy, glow, luminous, fairies, marsh, thicket, goblins, fairy tales, will o the wisp, folk tale, ghost stories, abstract, lights

Hello, and welcome!
I have been a photographer for over 25 years, using both traditional and digital SLR equipment, with pictures published in print as well as in online publications and galleries. The digitally-composed works are created using a variety of software. If you enjoy my work, please spread the word, and thank you for stopping by.

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  • pinkyjain
    pinkyjainover 4 years ago

    Beautiful image & wonderful commentary

  • So glad you like the words as well as the image, Pinky. Thank you so much.

    – RC deWinter

  • Shulie1
    Shulie1over 4 years ago

    Very pretty, Regina – reminds me of synapses in the brain all firing off at once

  • HAHHAHHAAHA…good one…maybe mine were. Thanks, sweetie.

    – RC deWinter

  • Patito49
    Patito49over 4 years ago

    Nice composition!

  • RC deWinter
    RC deWinterover 4 years ago

    Muchas gracias!

  • artisandelimage
    artisandelimageover 4 years ago

  • Oh, so very wonderful to be a part of this group.

    – RC deWinter

  • diLuisa Photography
    diLuisa Photog...over 4 years ago

    wonderful work!
    Luisa xx

  • Much appreciated – I thank you!

    – RC deWinter

  • allicata
    allicataover 4 years ago

  • I am thrilled, Allison – thank you!

    – RC deWinter

  • Crista Peacey
    Crista Peaceyover 1 year ago

    This is Exceptional…I can see so many things you could do with this image. Would make an excellent texture application for digital manipulation.

  • Many thanks, Crista.

    – RC deWinter

  • Rachael Comisari
    Rachael Comisariover 1 year ago

  • Many thanks, Rachael, and much appreciated.

    – RC deWinter

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