15. Jun, 2014

Dance with the Wind

Just a short walk from our home for waifs and strays, you will discover acres upon acres of bog cotton! For those who prefer to use its scientific name, you can call it Eriophorum angustifolium.

     As my kind and unassuming husband and I walked across the moors we stood in awe at the amount of bog cotton we could see. Like a child, I ran through it, brushing the cotton ball heads with the tips of my fingers. It felt amazing.

    ‘I’ve always wanted to do that,’ I shouted to my kind and unassuming husband who just shook his head and smiled.  

     ‘Did you know that these cotton heads were once used for pillows, candle-wicks, and paper?’ I said, preparing to take some photos. My kind and unassuming husband nodded his head as he sat on the grass waiting for me. It was simply breathtaking to see so many of these plants, which belong to the Sedge family, swaying gracefully in the summer breeze. Then I remembered that they have been named The County Flower of Greater Manchester.

     The indigenous people of North America use this plant in the treatment of digestive problems and in cooking too. And in WW1, it was used to dress wounds. But the strands of the plant are not long enough to spin into thread or to weave into cloth. However, it’s amazing to watch their graceful dance with the wind and I felt privileged to have a front row seat.