Tree Nymph in St. Louis

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When a member of our staff received a phone call Tuesday from a Bob Smith claiming he had spotted a tree nymph, she immediately searched on the computer and found Idea leucone of the family Nymphalidae (also called Nymphalids). Well, that would be quite interesting since they are only found in parts of Asia. But Mr. Smith wasn't talking about butterflies, and when our staff saw his photo, we became aware of how important his discovery is. Indeed, as far as we are aware, his are the first photos of humanoid tree nymphs.  TG Today tree nymphs

There have been legends of such female-like creatures throughout history, living in the forest amongst the trees, occasionally visible to the weary traveler,  providing some assistance from a distance,  perhaps indicating a way through a forest or a direction to find water. There are also legends of water and mountain nymphs. There is no scientific evidence that these creatures do exist. 

Mr. Smith, an ornithologist, was photographing the migrating tree swallows when he noted through his telephoto lens an unusual movement in the trees.

He then saw something dashing between the trees. TG Today tree nymphs The photos were taken just after sunrise Tuesday morning. Mr. Smith was using a long-range telephoto lens, photographing near the edge of a wooded area is St Louis County. The photos were taken from several hundred feet away and somewhat lacking in clarity, but we have been able to computer enhance them. (Click on photos.) As Mr. Smith approached, they disappeared, and when he inspected the area, he could find no evidence of anything having been there. It is unknown how the nymphs travel, on the ground or in the trees. 

We originally thought this was a sighting of one tree nymph, but after examining the photos, we now believe there is a group consisting of four to seven. Our investigative reporters are scouring the area and hope to have additional sightings.

TG Today tree nymphsTG Today tree nymphs TG Today tree nymphs TG Today tree nymphsTG Today tree nymphs TG Today tree nymphs

Just In: Our photographer has spotted the nymphs and is taking more photos. One just in:

 TG Today tree nymphs

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