"The wind blows out of the gates of the day,
The wind blows over the lonely of heart
And the lonely of heart is withered away,
While the faeries dance in a place apart,
Shaking their milk-white feet in a ring."
--William Butler Yeats, The Land of Heart’s Desire
As John was showing us his Wardian case replicas yesterday, we commented on how much we liked the miniature fairy ring he’d made in one of them. Careful countryside walkers have known for centuries that these circular formations of mushrooms are formed by the midnight gambols of the elves and pixies, and if a mortal should step into one, they may be whisked away to Fairyland, not to return for hours or even years. John admitted that the fairy ring’s magic had caused him to lose track of time, too, as he researched all there is to know about these mysterious circles.
Did you know that…
…the Dutch say that fairy rings show where the Devil has set his milk churn?
…some scientists think that each fairy ring with all its mushrooms might be made of a single cell?
…the notorious red and white fly agaric mushroom can often be found growing in such a ring?
…people trapped inside a fairy ring may be compelled by the elves to dance until they go mad, or die?
…fairy rings in forests are connected to nearby tree roots, but when found in meadows the fairy rings are independent and called “free?”
…one of the largest fairy rings is an 800-meter formation found in France, and is thought to be at least seven centuries old?
…in Devon, England, there are also sightings of rings made of supernatural black chickens?