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Poem: "Approaching the Faery Ring" - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
Poem: "Approaching the Faery Ring"
This poem came out of the August 1, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by a ring of mushrooms sprouting in our yard.  It has been sponsored by janetmiles as a gift for Dreamwidth user We_are_spc.

"Approaching the Faery Ring"

Yesterday a mushroom sprouted in our yard.
Today, there is a faery ring.

I jumped inside to see if
they would let me in.

The door to Underhill
did not open for me,
but I always like to check.

* * *


This is the faery ring as it appeared on August 2, 2017 looking south toward the grass wall.  There are 5 points forming a pentacle.  In this picture you can see the white mushrooms poking through the slightly darker ring of grass that sometimes appears in a faery ring.
A fairy ring of mushrooms is sprouting in the south lot.

Here is a closeup of two small mushrooms together on the right side.
These are some of the small mushrooms in the ring.

This is the big mushroom at the top of the ring.  It has a thick stalk and a round bulbous head, all covered with little tabs of flesh.
This is the largest of the mushrooms in the ring.

Here is my hand for comparison.  Hard to see from this angle, but when I hold my hand straight up, the top of the mushroom comes to my wrist.
Here is my hand for a size comparison with the large mushroom.

This is the faery ring on August 2.  Look how much bigger the mushrooms are!  They grow fast.
This is the faery ring on August 2.

These are two small mushrooms on the right side, one just beginning to emerge.  When they sprout, they are all enclosed in a veil.  In some species you can see remnants of that on the mature mushrooms.
These two mushrooms are growing on the right side of the ring.

Here's a closeup of the little one.
This is a closeup of the small mushroom on the right side.

Yesterday's cluster of two is now three.
This is a cluster of three mushrooms on the right side of the ring.

Here are two on the right side.
These two mushrooms are on the left of the faery ring.

The big mushroom has split open at the cap.
This is the big mushroom at the top of the faery ring.

When my hand is straight, the mushroom now comes halfway up my forearm, so about 10 inches tall.
Here is my hand with the big mushroom, now halfway up my forearm.

This is a closeup of the skirt or ring under the cap.  That thing was fluttering in the wind like Marilyn Monroe's skirt!
Under the cap is a skirt or ring of flesh.

Here you can see the top of the cap, which is covered by many shaggy scales.
The caps are very shaggy.

The mushrooms are so big and such a bright white that the faery ring can be seen from a long distance. This picture was taken from near the septic garden, more than halfway down the yard, but I could see them all the way from the road.
The faery ring can be seen a long way away.

A faery ring is actually the fruiting body of a fungus under the ground.  In this case, the critter itself is about five or six feet wide.  I poked around at identification and tentatively arrived at Amanita thiersii. This type of mushroom is new to me, although I have often seen other types of faery ring, usually with much smaller mushrooms.  As I suspected, it is known as a southerly species, likely moving north due to global warming (we used to be Zone 5b and are now 6a) and inspired by the damp weather.  Faery rings are considered portals to other realms.  No, I'm not kidding about jumping in them, I always do.  But then I am fey.  It is less safe for humans.

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4 comments or Leave a comment
thnidu From: thnidu Date: August 3rd, 2017 03:58 pm (UTC) (Link)


"Amanita" set off alarms in my head right away. Your linked article says that the species you think these belong to is toxic; other sites tend to agree:
Wikipedia "Handling the mushroom is harmless; poisoning occurs only on ingestion."
• journal article: "Amanita poisonings resulting in acute, reversible renal failure: new cases, new toxic Amanita mushrooms" (p. 5, first paragraph)

So, stay on the safe side, folks. If you see these and you've got kids or pets who play in the area, be very careful!

Edited at 2017-08-03 04:00 pm (UTC)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 3rd, 2017 04:17 pm (UTC) (Link)


That's true of mushrooms in general: unless you're an expert, treat them as poisonous, because a majority are. Not all of them are deadly, but there are several notorious families, of which amanitas are one.
thnidu From: thnidu Date: August 6th, 2017 03:07 am (UTC) (Link)


Oh, I agree. But you didn't mention anything about that in your post, and you made the faery ring sound so interesting and attractive (and it was, in the pictures) that I thought some such warning was necessary. Especially with respect to children.
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 4th, 2017 05:47 am (UTC) (Link)

from callibr8

>> The door to Underhill
did not open for me,
but I always like to check. <<

Of course! One always checks. Sometimes the not-locked door leads to very interesting places... such as a Formula One drivers' meeting, back in the 1980's when F-1 ran a Grand Prix on the streets of Long Beach, CA.

*whistles innocently, while clutching a suede-covered autograph book* ...
4 comments or Leave a comment