iN PHOTOS: Whimsical figurines decorate this 'Shire' on a Kamloops hiking trail | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source
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iN PHOTOS: Whimsical figurines decorate this 'Shire' on a Kamloops hiking trail

This post is found on a cottonwood tree in Kamloops.

Hidden among the tall grass on the Rivers Trail near the Kamloops airport are figurines, wind chimes and wooden signs set up to create a magical miniature shire.

Based on the much-loved Lord of the Rings books and movies, the scene has trodden down pathways with fairy figurines on stumps and an overgrown section called Rivendell.

“I think it’s a wonderful thing, I’ve walked by numerous times and one day I looked down and saw the well-beaten trail,” said Kamloops wildlife photographer Darrel Frolek. “I love being out in the open country enjoying mother nature and this was a nice thing to see.”

The head of the small trail is decorated with whimsical wind chimes and while much of the area is overgrown with brambles.

If one searches around and looks closely enough, numerous garden gnomes and fairies can be found.

Some of the figures have broken while others are weather worn, and it isn't clear how long the imaginative space has been there for. 

The Shire is an outdoor creative space with a Wind Phone made out of a rotary phone.
The Shire is an outdoor creative space with a Wind Phone made out of a rotary phone.

In the middle of the Shire is an old rotary phone attached to an old tree stump.

The sign on the phone reads “Wind Phone. A disconnected phone line that carries your words through the wind to those you have loved and lost.”

The first Phone of the Wind was created in Japan in 2010 by Itaru Sasaki while grieving a death in his family. He set up an old-fashioned phone booth in his garden and put a disconnected rotary phone in it to talk to his deceased loved one, according to MyWindPhone.

An area off Rivers Trail in Kamloops is decorated with windchimes and figurines.
An area off Rivers Trail in Kamloops is decorated with windchimes and figurines.

“I find it ironic that a few years ago a fire was in that location and some cottonwood trees died as a result,” Frolek said. “I noticed the phone is attached to the remains of an old stump. Rotary phones have been gone for years and trees have died and passed on. It’s all rather fitting.

“With the amount of mental health issues taking place in recent times it’s just a wonderful place that is quiet and peaceful with the wind blowing.”

Frolek posted a couple of photos on social media of the Shire, asking about it’s significance and many people commented on his post.

“I never expected the amount of interest and certainly there was a good healthy open discussion and that’s good, I was just sort of pleased with how everything turned out.”

READ MORE: iN PHOTOS: Holi festival of colours a celebration of spring in Kamloops, Okanagan

A garden gnome is placed against a stump off the Rivers Trail in Kamloops.
A garden gnome is placed against a stump off the Rivers Trail in Kamloops.

Fairy gardens and magical miniature outdoor scenes often capture the imaginations of a community.

The exact location of the Shire won’t be disclosed so people can discover it on their own, but if you’re hiking on the Rivers Trail in Kamloops, you may want to keep your eyes open for hobbits.

A garden fairy sits in the brambles off a trail in Kamloops.
A garden fairy sits in the brambles off a trail in Kamloops.

This gnome hides in the brambles off the Rivers Trail in Kamloops.
This gnome hides in the brambles off the Rivers Trail in Kamloops.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Shannon Ainslie or call 250-819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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