Bog Art

As we all know, nature paints the most beautiful pictures using clouds, earth and water. Here gazing west across the Inner Sound, the waves and sun filled breeze have inspired reflections between the earth and the sky. Natures art is elevated to whole new levels in this creative space. Patiently she grew these soft whimsical tufts of bog cotton, and then reflected them by weaving cotton wool clouds in drifting lines across an azure sky. Tugged by a warm sun filled breeze the cotton balls sway, inviting closer inspection, like a trail of little fairy flags.

Don’t be tempted though, these cute bobbing hare tails mark wet shifting earth which will try to hold you fast and claim you as her own. The white shimmering flags lead to watery otherworldly paths, luring you past the point of return, deep into the peat bog. Look but be careful of getting too close, unless you know the way.

Skye shimmers like a dream across the waves, and the bog cotton art is brushed by Atlantic whispers. The low light of the setting sun fills the tufts like little laterns, and by moon light they glow and wink beneath the stars. Earth and sky reflecting each other in perfect masterpieces.

Find more ‘Art’ at the WP weekly photo challenge.

For the fact lovers among you, the seeds and stems are edible, and an astringent medicine can be extracted from the roots and leaves. The cotton tufts themselves have been used to make paper, candle wicks and wound dressings. Bog Cotton is found growing wild all across the northern hemisphere, where soil is wet and acidic, and I’ve been attracted to it since I was a small girl. I have lost the odd Wellington boot to the bog and her beautiful art over the years!

About greenmackenzie

Hi, I'm Seonaid, and I share my home on the shores of Loch Ness deep in the Scottish Highlands with my husband, my son and a couple of dogs. I love art which is here now and gone food and nature...but also have a passion for vintage and the ancient past! Nature is my favourite muse, with her wild ever shifting seasons. I have been using and teaching mindfulness and relaxation for over 12 years, and have yet to become any sort of expert :-) I'm a Psychotherapist and Cancer Support Specialist in Maggies Highlands
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53 Responses to Bog Art

  1. says:

    What a beautiful day! I do like natures art blooms !

  2. I never read about a place I go to, because I wish to explore it with ‘innocent’ eyes and let my feet take me where ever they feel the pull to go, but if there was a book the way you describe these places along with your photos, I would journey into it. You open up a place with your poetic way….

    • Hanne, what a beautiful comment. It’s so heart warming to read your lovely praise, thank you. My poetic way…I love that….and a book…now you have me dreaming ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Wonderful, you obviously already know the way of dreaming, I’m sure you can dream a book into existence in this realm of physicality too!
        Let me know when you do! ๐Ÿ™‚
        I’m dead serious!

  3. I never read about a place I go to, because I wish to explore it with ‘innocent’ eyes and let my feet take me where ever they feel the pull to go, but if there was a book the way you describe these places along with your photos, I would journey into it. You open up a place with your poetic way….

  4. Liana says:

    Could that be any fancifuller??!!

  5. poppytump says:

    These little faerie ‘standards’ looking so fragile but rooted firmly in the bog make for a lovely picture Seonaid ! Lovely composition mirroring the sky clouds ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. gwynnrogers says:

    You live in such a glorious area full of fairy tales and light… I love it! Thanks for your story.

  7. Amazing scenery, Seonaid. Beautiful fairy flags. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. ladyfi says:

    What gorgeous shots – the bog plants mimic the clouds in the sky.

  9. Robin says:

    Beautiful images. Nature makes the best art, and you captured it wonderfully. ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. LB says:

    Beautiful images!!

  11. Leya says:

    Beautiful they are! In the mountains they are frequent here, but also in Blekinge on the way to our summer house.

    • What a beautiful trail to follow to your summer house ๐Ÿ™‚
      We don’t get that many here on the east coast….so they always make me think of Plockton, Skye and the West coast of Scotland. Not long now till we meet!

  12. twoscamps says:

    Definitely “bogolicious”! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  13. StillWalks says:

    I just love big cotton – and your photos ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. icelandpenny says:

    Oh yes, admire nature, love nature… but always with respect. I am just dressing for a cliff walk here on Guernsey — how nice to start the day with a (totally safe, no Wellie-boots harmed in this project) quick tour of a Scottish bog!

    • A Guernsey cliff walk sounds like a delightful trip along the edge of the green earth….enjoy! I look forward to seeing your photos Penny. And I should probably have mentioned that no wellie boots were harmed in the making of my images ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Suzanne says:

    What a strange and liminal world your words and photos depict here – both create a feeling of wandering on the edge of the mythic

    • Wandering the edge of the mythic is brilliantly put Suzanne, and that’s exactly how it feels. Ancient tales of the past seem as present as the breath in my body, and the sense of the edge of the earth greets you at each rising shoreline ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Suzanne says:

        You write beautifully – your words and photos lift me into a sense of the magical. Maybe you should write a book too ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Well if I could just settle down with one idea and go….but my mind is always tugged and pulled in so many wonderful directions. I would need to develop focus Suzanne ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Suzanne says:

        I’ve been talking about the issue of focus with some online friends in a closed writing group – we are exploring the idea that the story to write is the one you would regret not writing if you got to the end of your days and realised you hadn’t written it. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Interesting….and that still leaves me three!!

  16. So the bog environment within which the Bog Cotton plants live is next to the ‘sound’ … again, I’m having difficulty figuring whether this is fresh or salt water. Saying the body of water is a ‘sound’ makes is seem like this is salt water. But I associate bogs with fresh water. I give up! Thanks for showing us yet another beautiful aspect of your beautiful home. D

    • David I do love to set your neurones wondering!
      The Bog Cotton grows on fresh but acidic bog water….peat bogs….which roll off the mountains and down towards the sea. The Inner Sound is indeed salty….it lies between Skye and the mainland of NW Scotland. Salt and fresh meet at the edges of the ancient peats. Bog Cotton flourishes in all the low lying peat bogs of Western Scotland ….Canada, Scandavia and Russia ๐Ÿ™‚
      Oh and the white tufts appear and grow steadily longer after fertilisation….until finally being swept off by a sea breeze to distant soil.

  17. alifemoment says:

    The pics are amazing, so inspiring ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. colonialist says:

    Squelchy stuff is something we don’t have or particularly want!
    Here I was expecting a picture of a Humphrey going, ‘Here’s looking at ya.’ ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. Lucid Gypsy says:

    Wow, thanks for showing me more of the bog cotton ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. Rachael Charmley says:

    Love the way you weave fact and your vivid imagination into your narrative. Your last paragraph on the location of the plant is interesting. Plants often grow where they are needed. For instance, Arnica – as a medicine for bruising and broken bones – is found on mountain sides. It would be interesting to find out more about the bog cotton’s medicinal uses.

    • Rachael, I love that you love my strange weaving of facts and imagination….for me one feeds the other ๐Ÿ™‚
      I also love your wondering about Bog Cotton. My understanding and memory of its use is as an astringent for GI conditions like diarrhoea and peptic ulcers. From a piece of earth which weeps fluids grows a plant to prevent and dry up excess fluid leaks! The water here in the peat bogs although fresh, is not good for drinking….so perhaps the bog cotton offers the cure for drinking acid bog water?

      • Rachael Charmley says:

        Makes perfect sense to me. Are you familiar with the Doctrine of Signatures ? This is really what we are talking about: the orchid that has two bulbs or rhizomes, one always larger than the other, and was used to treat undescended testicles; the wild flower (weed !) that grows in my garden – I forget its name – with bright yellow sap, which was used for liver complaints, and so on…
        It’s no accident that comfrey (knit bone) tends to grow in those places where one is most likely to fall over ! ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Yes, it’s fascinating stuff, and old wisdom ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. Colline says:

    You have shown us a beautiful setting through your pictures.

  22. Mjollnir says:

    Skye is a shimmering dream and your whimsical tufts know no equal! ๐Ÿ˜€ xxxx

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