Fungus: any member of a kingdom of organisms (Fungi) that lack chlorophyll, leaves, true stems, and roots, reproduce by spores, and live as saprotrophs or parasites. The group includes moulds, mildews, rusts, yeasts, and mushrooms”  from World English Dictionary

Fairy Ring:  a naturally occurring ring or arc of mushrooms. Fairy rings also occupy a prominent place in European folklore as the location of gateways into elfin kingdoms, or places where elves gather and dance. According to the folklore, a fairy ring appears when a fairy, pixie, or elf appears. It will disappear without trace in less than five days, but if an observer waits for the elf to return to the ring, he may be able to capture it. ” Wikipedia

We have had a lot of rain in the past few weeks where I live.  It has been welcome, as we were in a severe drought for several months.  The gardens and trees love the rain and our Louisiana landscape is once again green and vibrant.  One of the wonders of all this rain is the mushrooms that are popping up everywhere.  Driving around on a pretty Saturday morning, I was enchanted with the patches and rings of jaunty little caps.  There seems to be no rhyme or reason associated with their appearance, some quite large and elegant, other short and squatty.  I was a little disappointed that my yard wasn’t blessed.

Wonder leads to curiosity and I decided to do a little research.  The first thing I discovered – there is a fungus among us (sorry,  I couldn’t resist.)  Even further, they are closely related to mold.  Not good, since I am allergic.  I’m losing the magic here.  Further investigation yielded the information that these are also known as fairy rings in European folklore.  This is much better, I like this idea.  Magic rings springing up in the wake of fairies, pixies and elves. This morning I grabbed my camera and set out to capture a few photos before my enthusiastic neighbors fired up their lawnmowers.  As I strolled out of my house, I glanced over to the area between my house and my neighbors’ fence.  Oh my!  My yard WAS blessed!  As I was snapping away, I noticed a little friend.  Not a fairy, but still a cute little surprise.

My fascination with the mushrooms seems to have emerged in my last few Zentangles, with a very distinctly mushroom looking tangle finding its way onto my tiles.  This is not unusual, as many tangles find their roots in nature and patterns we see around us.  Usually it is more deliberate and tanglers work to distill these patterns into the fewest possible strokes while capturing the spirit of the design.  Not so for these, they just sprouted up on my tiles.  Like a magic fairy ring.