Saturday, 11 June 2016

Misty Cotton

There has been an east coast fog recently under the continuous cool north-east wind. In north east Scotland, this mist is known as the haar. In the evenings it creeps in over the land and one evening this week it was lying low on the moors. Meanwhile, it is the season for the cotton grass Eriophorum vaginatum to set seed, and this year there has been a splendid crop of the white cotton heads. The two features together make a soft delicate landscape. A transient tapestry.

The individual plants of the cotton grass grow in tight tussocks on the wet moorland, bog really, known as mosses in the north-east. These cotton buds shine bright white in the sunshine, but in the diffuse evening light, the details of their silky tufts are the showpiece. Whether in close up detail or en masse.

When looked through from ground level,the sea of white rolled on and on, one snowflake after another, forming a fluffy bogland blanket.

The hedgerows are full of white blossom at the moment, but the cotton grass even up-staged them. This was a truly spectacular sight, a soft but spectacular sight.


  1. Stunning, thanks Stuart! The birds are interesting, but the landscapes are glorious. sandra h

  2. Thanks Sandra, I have been trying to show more wildplaces