If you come upon a mushroom ring, it’s sure to bring delight.
What magic caused this marvel that has popped up over night?
The fungus known as Fairy Ring grows in a circle round,
Where some say fairies dance within, or buried treasure’s found.
Some think it’s caused by lightning strikes or witches casting spells.
To step inside, on a moonlit night, risks capture by the elves.
The mushroom is a curious plant which needs no light to thrive.
The toadstools growing from the ground are more than meets the eye.
The strange, alluring cap and stalk is just the fruit we see,
Like an apple hanging from a branch upon its parent tree.
The “parent” is the feeding threads which grow beneath the ground.
They form a circle as they spread, and toadstools sprout around.
The ring can live for many years, growing all the while,
From two feet in diameter to wider than a mile!
So what’s the purpose of this plant? Umbrella for a mouse?
A pleasant perch for a resting toad, or a tiny pixie house?
This mushroom is a source of food for critters large and small,
But the fungus has a special job, the cleverest of all.
As part of nature’s clean-up crew, it helps to decompose,
Turning refuse from a dying plant into soil as it grows.
The spreading of its feeding threads can eat up toxic spills,
And research has discovered that some species cure our ills.
The magic of the mushroom is its underrated worth.
The fungus that’s among us may just help to save the earth.
Kim has offered a signed copy of her non-fiction book, National Wildlife Federation’s World of Birds: A Beginner’s Guide, which she wrote and illustrated. For children ages 7-12, the book contains whimsical poetry about a variety of bird species.
To enter the giveaway, add a comment below ! The giveaway contest is open until February 28, and the winners will be announced in March.
Kim Kurki has been working as an illustrator since graduating from Kutztown University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (magna cum laude) in 1980. Her work has been published and distributed world-wide on fine art prints, packaging, and numerous stationery and gift products. Recent work includes commissioned fine art illustrations for Merck & Co. Inc. and illustrations for Yankee Publishing (The Old Farmer’s Almanac, etc.)
For almost a decade, she wrote and illustrated for National Wildlife Federation’s Your Big Backyard magazine, creating a monthly page called “Explore the Big Outdoors.” This award-winning column featured birds, animals, and plants that children can find in “their own backyards”. Her first book, National Wildlife Federation’s World of Birds: A Beginner’s Guide, has evolved from that collection of work. Published by Black Dog & Leventhal for ages 7-12, it is the first in a series of books introducing the natural world to young readers (and curious adults!) NWF’s World of Birds recently won a Moonbeam Children’s Book Award, Gold Medal for Best Nonfiction Publication: Animals/Pets, November 2014.
Scholastic has adopted NWF’s World of Birds as part of its book fair offerings for students.
Kim is available to share her experiences through school visits, family events, and presentations for adult groups. See her Facebook page for more information.
A native of Bucks County, PA, Kim currently resides in Penns Park. She surrounds herself with native plants and wildflowers and shares the property with many wild creatures that provide inspiration and delight. You can see more of Kim’s work at www.kurkiillustration.com.