Sunday, August 11, 2013

Merle's First Trip to The Bog - July 2013

I have to say I was quite worried about bringing Merle to the bog. He is only a puppy and still has lots to learn. There are many bog holes, drains, ditches, etc. for him to get lost in but at the same time I didn't want to keep him on the lead. Dogs should be able to run around the bog. It is one of their favourite places! So I chanced it and I have no idea if it is to do with his breed (Collie, Labrador, Setter) but he was so good and didn't stray far from us! Only on one occasion did he try to go down the bog hole but Daddy to the rescue! He grabbed him just as he was going down and gave him a few slaps and now if we see him near one we just sternly call him and he knows ;) 

The bog is no place to be in in such heat. We're having (or were having) a heat wave and there was not a breath of air but just lots of cotton floating around! 

Bog cotton! Our bank (where our turf is cut) always had bog cotton growing over it but this was the most I had ever seen. We were picking up the footed turf which had been there so long the cotton and grass was growing all over it. It was so hard to pick up! You just ended up with lumps of cotton in your hands. Between that and the heat and making sure Merle didn't wander down any bog holes it wasn't a fun time at the bog.

 Merle did seem to enjoy himself in between laying down in what shade he could find from the heat (He liked to hide under the tractor and trailer)! Here he is with Steve when Johnny was moving the tractor.

With four of us loading the trailer it was done fairly quick but obviously I had to break to take some photos ;)

You can see some dirt on Merle's tongue! He was having a great time trying to eat all the turf Daddy was picking up and just anything else he could find!

Daddy messing with Merle before we left!

An exhausted Merle has enough of this bog work. He just wants to sit in the shade and sleep.


jr cline said...

Interesting place. I can see how dogs would love it.
Dumb American question. What do you use the turf for?

Aishling O'Neill said...

It's not a dumb American question cos I get it asked a lot by everyone who doesn't live in Ireland haha! :D

Turf is basically peat. It's cut, then footed (what you see in the photos, just sitting on each other a certain way so they can dry). After that they can be reeked (in the second photos on the left in the distance you can see a pile of turf, that's a reek), put into turf bags (you can also see them in the first two photos) or thrown into a trailer like we were doing! We bring them home and stack them in a shed.

We then burn the turf! :D So turf is for burning in the fire :P

I was actually going to do a photo project on the subject but I'm not sure I'll get it done now because we're not getting any turf cut this year! Oh well! For another time.