BOG COTTON ON THE RED BOG
A Poem by
CHARLOTTE GRACE O’BRIEN (1845 –1909)
Foynes in June 1895
“ O STRONG-WINGED birds from over the moorland dark,
On this June day what have you seen?
Where have you been? ”
Where, oh! where
The golden yellow asphodel makes its boggy home,
And far and near, Spreading in broad bands of silvery silky foam
O’er the moorland drear, The slender stemmed bog cotton bends in waves of light,
Shaking out its shining tufts for its own delight,There, oh! there We have been.
“O sweet sky piercing, heaven mounting lark,
On this June day what have you seen?”
I have seen—I have seen
The dark red bog and the king fern green,
And the black
black pools lying dim between,–
The baby heather that blossoms so soon
In the splendid heat that comes after June–
Charlotte Grace O’Brien
was born in County Limerick, the daughter of
William Smith O’Brien who was a Conservative Member of Parliament for County Limerick; she championed the cause for better conditions for those emigrating to America.
Bog cotton on the red bog, images Gallery
Each year that comes and goes in the Irish bog-land landscape, for me is marked by the summer Bog Cotton. This amazing grass covers many of Ireland boggy wet lands , on the mountain sides and the low lands of midlands through out the country. Only for the fact that much of the Countries bogs are farmed for peat ( leaving the landscape scraped and scared, with no plant life left ! ) then their would be huge areas in the summer months all covered with white Cotton blowing in the wind.
When Will I see the Bog Cotton again ?
Well Starting from this May and June I hope, and I will be getting lots more pictures and just taking time to appreciate the views it brings !!!
Bog Cotton fields, comeragh mountains, county Waterford
Each spring, the boggy fields in the mountains of county Waterford are filled with Bog cotton. This year was no exception, there is so much cotton that the sides of the mountains become white and can be viewed from far off.
It was a pleasure to get out and walk through it all and get some images to record this great event.
Lough Boora parklands, are one of the most interesting outdoor locations you could visit in Ireland. They cover up to 14 kilometres of scenic views and cycle routes, the parkland has many sculptures and art installations for you to view along with miles of walking routes. The location is also a nature reserve that is home to many rare birds such as lapwings. The first image in the below Gallery is of two Lapwing flying above the park.
Along with the great sculptures which I will cover in full in another post, some archaeology found at the site has completely changed the history of the country. The remains of a village that would have sat on the banks of one of the biggest lakes in Europe at the time. The findings date the people living in this area back some eight and a half thousand years, this is some two and a half thousand years older than previously thought.
It also pre dates the Christian history of Ireland by some seven thousand years.
The village itself was large and well established for its time, indicating that man must have lived here for sometime before reaching this level of culture. This would indicate that Man moved back into Ireland soon after the ending of the last Ice age some ten thousand years ago.
I have taken some images of the information boards on the site, you can find them below the following images.
Wild Cotton grass, Comeragh mountains, county Waterford
Last evening we went for a long walk with our dog through the comeragh mountains and came across an area of Bog cotton, it covered the entire hill side and valley in front of us as we walked through it.
So I just wanted to share this wonderful view and I hope get across just how amazing a view this offers on the hill sides of these mountains in the middle of a very warm July.
Common Grass Cotton
As its other common name, Bog Cotton, might suggest, this is a plant of very damp peaty ground. Its leaves mostly arise from the base of the plant, often being tinged with red or brown. It has tiny insignificant little brown flowers in April and May but it is really when it is in fruit that this becomes a most eye-catching and attractive plant. Borne on 30-50cm high, cylindrical stems, the little seeds are held in fluffy, downy, white tufts which quiver and shake in the wind, a most effective dispersal method. This is a native pant belonging to the family Cyperaceae.
Wild Cotton grass – Gallery
Poem by : Kathleen Jamie
I walk at the land’s edge,
turning in my mind
a private predicament.
Today the sea is indigo.
Thirty years an adult –
same mind, same
ridiculous quandaries –
but every time the sea
appears differently: today
a tumultuous dream,
flinging its waves ashore –
I tread back over the bog
– but every time the bog
appears differently: this evening,
tufts of bog-cotton
unbutton themselves in the wind
– and then comes the road
so wearily familiar
the old shining road
that leads everywhere