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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

As a fairy ring grows

Monday, July 20, 2009

A "fairy ring" recently sprouted up on the west side of Oak Hill Cemetery. Although not full completed, this fairyring has the potential of being quite large. For those of you who have never heard of a fairy ring - a fairy ring, also known as fairy circle, elf circle or pixie ring, is a naturally occurring ring or arc of mushrooms. The rings may grow over ten meters in diameter and become stable over time as the fungus grows and seeks food underground. They are found mainly in forested areas, but also appear in grasslands or rangelands. Fairy rings are not only detectable by sporocarps in rings or arcs, but also by a "necrotic zone" (dead grass) ,or a ring of dark green grass, which is evident at the Oak Hill site. If these manifestations are visible, a "fairy fungus" is likely present in the ring or arc underneath.

Fairy rings occupy a prominent place in European folklore, allegedly marking the location of gateways into elfin kingdoms, or places where elves gather and dance. Photo by Mike Leckband.

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