Fairy Rings and Folklore
One day recently, my husband, the girls, and I saw a beautiful fairy ring of mushrooms that graced the lawn of a house in a residential neighborhood. The girls were captivated by the large, white caps and the name “fairy ring” and wanted to know more about the origin of this term.
Medieval folklore surrounding fairy rings suggested that perhaps these rings were the meeting places of fairies to dance and sing. The toadstools were believed to be the seats upon which fairies perched as they shared in the festivities of an evening frolic. It was also said that these rings were actually the portals to a magical kingdom where fairies and other mythical creatures dwell, and that by stepping into the circles, one would be at risk of being carried away to this other realm.
While there is little superstition linked to fairy rings today, some may delight in the notion that upon stepping into a fairy ring, one may make a wish.
Actual scientific research suggests more logical reasoning for the occurrence of fairy rings. According to the Plant Disease Diagnostic Clinic at Cornell University, fairy rings are caused by fungi growing in the soil that grow in a radial pattern. Often, these rings of grass or mushrooms grow larger each year.
Whatever the origin of the term or the reason behind this naturally occurring phenomenon, fairy rings are quite beautiful and intriguing. And, I have been captivated by them.
This week, I have visited some beautiful blogs and have seen some lovely fairy posts. It seems that fairy rings and fairies are a recurring theme of summer! The following are some of my favorite entries:
Tuning in to Wonder at GardenMama
Better Watch Your Back at An Exaltation of Larks
Lightening Bugs, Fireflies, Night Fairies at My Little Hen
How to Make Fairy Furniture…A Chair and a Table at The Magic Onions