Cheo geal ri canach an t-sléibe ‘as white as the bogcotton’

“If our peatlands were about wildlife and wilderness in the twentieth century, the conservation and restoration of peatlands today is as much about us and our climate. Peat is a glutton for carbon, and the more that is sequestered in the sodden peats of our wetlands, the less that is released into the atmosphere to warm the planet (I think of the quantity of carbon in the atmosphere as akin to the tog rating on that duvet: all things being equal, the higher the concentrations or the rating, the warmer we get. The maths is as simple as that)”

A plea for peat; The beauty of the moorland plant cottongrass reminds us why our peat bogs desperately need saving.  Andy Byfield. Guardian . 25 July 2013

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Canach  Common cottongrass, Bog Cotton ( Eriophorum angustiflorioum)

When walking on the moor Anne told me of  a pair of gloves made from Bog Cotton which were made by a local lady in the past.  I can’t imagine how it was made with the short wispy fibres but would have loved to see them  to investigate.  On a guided moor walk,  Ruaraidh Maclean  gave  us more facinating information on bog cotton, gaelic language of the moor  and of many other plants and flowers of the bog.

Carmicheal says that a highland girl was not considered fit for marriage ,  an Dèanadh  i lein canaich dha leannan agus paidhir stocainnean dhi fhein ‘ until she made a shirt of the mountain down for her lover and a pair of stockings for herself ( Carmina Gadelica VI)

Garments were made from Bog cotton at the Great exhibition in 1851

Mr Mac Dougall has been attempting to get up new native dyes but new native material for cloths. He exhibited two stuffs which were great curiosities in their way. One cloth was made out of the down of bog cotton and the other cloth made of the fur of the white or alpine hare

The Great Exhibition of 1851

red moss

Coinneach Dhearg, Coinneach Liath, Mointeach Liath Mosses including Sphagnum Moss

Coinneach applies in general to mosses and also spagnum. Gathered and dried in the sun, coinneach is highly absorbent and mildly antiseptic.

“when they are in any fatigue by travel or otherwise, they fail not to bathe their feet in warm water wherein red moss has been boiled and rub them with it on going to bed”

Martin Martin, A description of the Western Islands of Scotland 1703 

IMG_1238Driuchd na Maidne  Round leaved sundew  (drosera rotundifolia)

The plant is sufficiently caustic to erode the skin; some ladies mix the juice with milk so as it make it an innocent and safe application to remover freckles and sunburns ( Mc Neill) 

 

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