Appalachia Appalachia Through My Eyes

Appalachia Through My Eyes – Fairy Rings

Do you think a fairy made it? I wanted to dance in the circle but was afraid I’d become enchanted and disappear till someone broke the spell-at least that’s what I always heard would happen.


p.s. You can read a story similar to the one I was told as a child by visiting Granny Sue.

Appalachia Through My Eyes – A series of photographs from my life in Southern Appalachia.


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  • Reply
    John Haynes
    August 4, 2021 at 12:21 am

    Beautiful and magical. Growing up in southern Ontario ( Canada) 50 years ago, fairy rings were mushroom circles. If you trod on them a family member was supposed to die soon. If you slept in them — I’ve never seen one big enough for that— you were supposed to sleep until the Last Trump(et) woke the dead. To this day, I push the lawn over around them, just in case.

  • Reply
    janet pressley
    May 28, 2011 at 1:37 am

    I love this photo. I want one in my yard. I love the rock structure. I have always been interested in river rocks and sea shells – like treasure to me. Nana

  • Reply
    May 27, 2011 at 5:22 am

    This is very interesting! The first time I ever heard of a fairy ring was when our local paper ran a photo of a lawn in our area that had a ring of darker green grass growing in a perfect circle. I was about 13 at the time and very disappointed when a few days later the paper did a follow-up stating the ‘fairy ring’ was due to some sort of fungus! I would have vastly prefered that it remain a mystery! I have never heard of, let alone been lucky enough to see, a fairy ring like the one in your photo, but if I did, I doubt that I could resist at least stepping inside!

  • Reply
    May 26, 2011 at 10:26 pm

    I thought I had maintained a good grip on the things of the world we read about today in this blog but……………nay, I’ve let so much of it slip away. Thanks for the forum Tipper.

  • Reply
    Melissa P (misplaced Southerner)
    May 25, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    How much fun this thread has been. So many lovely memories! I had forgotten about the tribes until reading Caro’s post. My Irish grandmother used to tell us about the “Green Man.” There seem to be stories of faeries and sprites (or leprechauns) in almost every old culture. The only thing for sure is to step inside is a bad idea.

  • Reply
    janet pressley
    May 24, 2011 at 11:30 pm

    Beautiful! Nana

  • Reply
    May 24, 2011 at 8:17 pm

    I have seen the rings made of twigs and also little ring circles in the sand or leaves brushed away leaving dance circles. I’ve seen simple stone rings by the creek and down our lonely road. But the true evidences of Fairies are the gossamer tatters of their lacy gowns left on the grass and bushes at sunrise, after a night of merriment. This is true, my mama told me and I’ve seen them many times.

  • Reply
    May 24, 2011 at 8:07 pm

    I’ve never heard of a stone fairy ring but for years we had a mushroom fairy ring come up in our yard every spring. It got bigger each year. then one year it never grew. We really missed it.

  • Reply
    Brenda Kay Ledford
    May 24, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    Great photo. I’ve heard of fairy rings for mushrooms, but this is new for me. What a great story. It’s like magic.

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    May 24, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    Tipper–I loved the fact that two of your readers mentioned trout in connection with the fairy ring. In my view, the ultimate ring is the perfect ring of the rise of a trout. To see one at the lower end of a long, still pool as trout feed in the gloaming is to know magic.
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    May 24, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    It looks to me like those pretty
    little Indian Princesses have been
    at it again. Very pretty…Ken

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    May 24, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    We called the mushroom rings fairy rings and also the ones in the grass usually darker than the rest……dont forget the fairy ring around the moon that usually signals rain, but can just mean a change in the weather.

  • Reply
    May 24, 2011 at 11:53 am

    whomever created it, it is beautiful. i would have stayed out of it also

  • Reply
    May 24, 2011 at 10:47 am

    Didn’t know about fairy rings but, now I believe.
    That photo is great. The composition is superb, it has depth, it is well balanced, there is a middle ground, foreground, and background, the color is a fine example of a subtle color exercise. Would this make a great painting? You know it!!!
    I have been waiting for you to score again with one of your photos! You go, girl!
    Oh yes, I’ll just bet that just across the creek close to that rock at top of the photo there is a trout! Also I’ll bet there is an arrowhead somewhere in those rocks at the bottom of the photo, I just know it.

  • Reply
    May 24, 2011 at 10:40 am

    How enchanting! I’ve seen mushroom fairy rings; never the rock ones. Everyone needs a little magic don’t you think!

  • Reply
    Joe Mode
    May 24, 2011 at 10:32 am

    I have only heard and seen fairy rings in cow pastures. I believe I recall that you weren’t supposed to step inside the ring.
    We did have a tree down by the creek where a witch lived. It had a “door” and we would dare each other to go up and knock on the door. The real witch, however, was an old woman who lived by the creek whom we named Granny Grunt.

  • Reply
    Sue Crane
    May 24, 2011 at 10:11 am

    my first visit to Ireland was a Folklore/Folk Music tour and Mick Moloney pointed out the fairy trees saying that a woman was once asked if she believed in fairies and she replied; “No, but they are there!”

  • Reply
    May 24, 2011 at 10:07 am

    As you probably already know the Cherokee version of the fairies are called the Nunnehi. They are split into three tribes but I can remember only the Dogwood People and the Rock People. The Rock People like to be left alone. There are a few words around from the Nunnehi language. A river is referred to as ‘the Long Man.’ Shooting Creek, which is my neck of the woods, is named for the ‘place where the rocks in the water make shooting or popping noises. I am a firm believer in fairies, for my mother saw one under her bed when she was very young–she said must of been very young because she would have been up and working otherwise. She said he looked like the comic strip character ‘Snuffy Smith’. My sister saw one when she was a kid and was sick, walk up the wall and across the ceiling. She said as far as she could remember he looked a little like Uncle Sam. I saw one when I was a middle-aged lady, in an old garden with a verge of trees. He just popped out of thin air into a Laurel Bush. He had a rusty colored hat and a vest and britches that were knee-length and shaggy hair. I experienced classic panic, meaning I screamed, babbled and ran all at the same time. My ex husband ran with me he thought it was an axe murderer that I saw or something like that. I went back the next day and identified the bush as a laurel. The Dogwood people are supposed to be human friendly, but I wouldn’t care to see another!

  • Reply
    Elizabeth K
    May 24, 2011 at 10:05 am

    A great circle, perfect for making a little magic and possibly getting a bit enchanted, but where are the mushrooms? I thought one had to have mushrooms for a faery ring? This looks like a water sprite may have made it, ; )!

  • Reply
    May 24, 2011 at 9:35 am

    Wow! Would like to see them build one.

  • Reply
    May 24, 2011 at 9:35 am

    I only ever heard of fairy rings in regard to mushrooms…they are super cool. Those rocks are surely the work of fairies too though!

  • Reply
    Canned Quilter
    May 24, 2011 at 8:47 am

    Sometimes I think disappearing would be nice : )

  • Reply
    Gary Powell
    May 24, 2011 at 8:36 am

    We always told our children that the mushroom rings were fairy rings and to be careful not to step inside. Ocassionally one would be nearly a perfect circle. Now my daughter tells her children.

  • Reply
    May 24, 2011 at 8:24 am

    First time I’ve ever seen or heard of that. I sure do love those pretty creek rock!! I wouldn’t dance in it for fear it might all fall down!

  • Reply
    May 24, 2011 at 8:21 am

    The ring in this picture is obviously built by magical fly fishing fairies. If a fisherman stands in the ring and quarter casts a dry fly upstream, he/she is guaranteed to catch a 12 inch native on the down stream drift.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    May 24, 2011 at 8:16 am

    Looks like a fairy ring to me. And that ring looks like it might have taken the fairies quite a while to build.
    That photo might be one we should frame….what do you think?
    Speaking of mushrooms….can I soak my logs now?

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    May 24, 2011 at 7:10 am

    One other thing…people ask how do you know that is one of your houses..since there are so many copycats….because I used my thumb and it will always fit exactly in the little house..
    thanks tipper

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    May 24, 2011 at 7:05 am

    The only fairy ring I know of are the ones I have seen myownself here in East Tennessee!..
    Mushroom fairy rings, especially seen in pastures and our woods…
    I used to make fairy houses out of clay on my thumb with a tiny chimney and fire them in the kiln. I would go to the woods and gather pieces of lichen and moss and make woodland arrangements on a rock or piece of driftwood, using pebbles and lichen to make tiny trees and moss, etc. I added the little houses and some handmade “mushroom clay people”…I sold these small creations at craft fairs and shops back in the 60’s, 70’s days…
    Of course I always used real fairy houses and mushrooms for my art subjects!..It takes quite a while of sittin’ on a “moss plain” until the “little beauties” slip out from their hiding places to dance around among the mushrooms, wildflowers and pebbles. You have to sketch them very quitely or they disappear as fast as they came…
    Thanks Tipper
    PS…No, I wasn’t on no ‘shroom hippie juice back then! ha

  • Reply
    May 24, 2011 at 7:01 am

    Almost makes me wanna sleep beside the river and wait for the next time they build a fairy ring.

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