Fairy Ring

Mushrooms Again

The mushroom burial suit discussed in the last post brought out several interesting comments both here on the blog and in person by those who know me personally.  https://crookedcreek.live/2017/11/06/infinity-suit/ To those who no longer enjoy eating mushrooms, I apologize. My intent was never to destroy a good thing and edible mushrooms are definitely good. Let me assure you that today we move on to a mushroom adventure that should not offend.

Have you heard of fairy rings also called fairy circles, pixie or elf rings? I must admit that I am new to this worldwide subject concerning the growth of mushrooms in a circle or an arc shape, but since I’ve researched the subject please allow me to share what I’ve recently learned.

These rings of mushrooms appear most often in the woods, but may also be in open grassy areas. At some point in the life cycle of these formations, the grass may either die or inversely become taller and darker so that a grass ring occurs. Once begun the life cycle can carry on for many years.

Have any of you seen a fairy ring? I had not until a couple of days ago when my daughter shared one that she had spotted while driving to work. It was just off a busy suburban thoroughfare and I wonder how many other people drove by without noticing this phenomenon. My oldest, Dianne, has always been attuned to nature, a knack I believe she learned from her dad. We were both so relieved that it was still present when she drove me to the spot in a grove of pine trees. I admit that we parked on private property and trespassed a bit to reach the circle of mushrooms. It was not perfectly circular nor completely filled in, but it clearly formed a large ring. Here are a few photos that demonstrate what we saw: 

Dianne Mattingly Bynum


Dianne and I walked very carefully to not damage any of the mushrooms in the area. We did step into the circle and I did not know at the time that we could have been in real danger of losing our sight or even dying young according to folklore I later read. Of course I am past the latter, but still one cannot be too careful when dealing with otherworldly presences.

It seems that most European countries have their own legends concerning the rings. France which is thought to have the largest (>2,000 ft,) and oldest (700 yrs.) such ring prefers the term “sorcerer’s rings” which they believe are guarded by a giant toad. In Germany, they are associated with witches and Dutch legends give the devil credit. In Austria, such rings were thought to be the result of flying dragons that blight nearby land.

Whether the myths passed down for generations concern good luck or bad it is fun to think of fairies dancing around or inside the circle on a moonlit night. Whether you picture fairies sitting on mushrooms and using them for tables as in Scotland fullsizeoutput_1051or carrying mushroom parasols to enhance fertility as do the legends of Wales, enjoy the fantasy.

While these phenomena are naturally occurring and we could learn all the agricultural and scientific principles involved, I prefer to stop right here and believe in fairies.


Come Fairies, take me out of this dull world, for I would ride with you upon the wind and dance upon the mountains like a flame!

William Butler Yeats


4 thoughts on “Fairy Ring

  1. That was so fun! I’m glad I finally got to see one. It was beautiful and it’s tempting to go back at night to see if any fairies show up. Thanks for writing about this fun experience.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Very interesting. Mushrooms have always been intriguing to me. They pop up over night.
    The mention of fairies reminded me of our trip to Iceland. Many people there believe in elves and believe they live in certain places. Some people claim to be able to communicate with them. When we were at the Blue Lagoon, the guide told us about the building of the restaurant there and how the elves (sometimes called little people). I am putting here a copy of the story from Goggle.

    “Even the Blue Lagoon has an elf story

    In the summer of 2014 I did some tourist guiding around the Reykjanes Peninsula where the Blue Lagoon is located. I noticed on the Blue Lagoon’s website that they mention ‘elf involvement’ in the building of the new dining room in 2010. Intrigued, I decided to ask at the front desk for the details of the story. I was told that while they were digging into the lava to prepare the foundations for the new wing, the machinery suddenly came to a complete stop and they could not proceed. It got to the point that they finally had to call in a medium to find out what the problem was. The elves told them, via this medium, that they were upset because they had not been consulted as to the proposed building plans and they would like to inspect the blueprints. The elves asked that the plans be downloaded to a USB stick and put into a box in a certain hole in the wall and they would take a look at the plans and get back to the Blue Lagoon management when they have discussed the matter. After about a week, the medium was called back in to relay the message- the elves had accepted the plans and agreed that construction should continue. Technically savvy, those elves!”

    Liked by 1 person

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