On a misty morning, a fairy ring suddenly springs into view

The fairy ring next door

When a whack of mushrooms spring up overnight on a patch of green, you have to think “fairy ring.” Don’t you?

I think we can all safely agree that the one thing that would logically be at the front of my mind as the topic of tonight’s post – after a super-long day at work, including helping co-ordinate student coverage of a debate among Belleville mayoral candidates this evening – would be… fairy rings.

Because, you know – why not?

Do you know what I mean by the term “fairy rings”? If you’re up on your Celtic folklore, I’m sure you do. It’s the name given to circles of wild mushrooms that suddenly pop up, especially in rainy weather – the idea being, I believe, that they have appeared because a group of tiny fairies needed something to sit on while holding a meeting or some such. Or maybe to dance upon during a grand fairy ball. Scientific types have more prosaic explanations for fairy rings, but where’s the fun in that?

Mushroom closeup

A closeup of one of the just-sprouted mushrooms in the “ring.”

Fairy rings are not exactly something that I find myself thinking about at any given point in time. And in fact, I doubt that I’d thought about them at all for several decades – until one recent misty and rather Arthurian morning in Queensborough, when I threw open the curtains in our upstairs bedroom at the Manse and noticed an overnight sprouting of fair-sized mushrooms in the green grass of the lot next door to ours. “A fairy ring!” says Katherine to herself. Followed shortly by “How far down in deep-core memory did I dig that phrase out of?”

Truth be told, our fairy ring – or more precisely, our neighbours’ fairy ring – wasn’t quite ring-shaped. It was a little free-form, really, though I suppose one might say it was a bit of a spiral shape. Perhaps the Queensborough fairies’ meeting, or dance, was a a little on the free-form side.

Disco fairies!

2 thoughts on “On a misty morning, a fairy ring suddenly springs into view

  1. I know what you mean about dredging up that particular memory.
    Several years ago, (13 or so), my daughter and friend, Emily (then aged maybe 14 or 15) told me about the amazing ring of mushrooms that had appeared on the Em’s lawn. That’s a Fairy Ring, I told them. My daughter: sighs and eye-rolls; Em: Godsmacked. I explained that that’s where the fairies danced. Daughter flounces off in disgust; Em is entranced. If it isn’t already apparent, our Em wasn’t the most sophisticated girl and still isn’t at age 27.

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