Quinn’s mention about the clouds in the previous post got me thinking about this place, the Merse near Caerlaveroc Castle in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland. The Merse is a vast salt marsh between the castle and the sea (merse is actually a Scottish word for salt marsh). The Merse is divided in to two parts, the tidal estuary and the dry high march.

The actual tidal estuary, that during the low tide turns into mud flats, continues here for miles, literally. That part of the Merse is dangerous. First of all it is has bottomless pits of quicksand all over the place. There are guided walks to the mud flats but you really should not go there by yourself without a good guide. Secondly, when the high tide comes in, it comes in fast. And I mean it. We watched the tide coming in from a small hill top and it was rushing! Not like at any ordinary seaside where the water level rises rather slowly, here it formed small rivers that flowed towards the shore line and within minutes dry sand was covered with deep water. If you were out the on the flats when the tides comes in, you’d have no chance.

The high marsh here is a long strip of grassland between the mud flats and the forest. The boundary between the two areas is sharp, an actual step down to the mud. The high marsh was used as a pasture but the part we visited was a part of a conservation are. The grass was short and harsh but beautiful and perfect for picnic!

But what made the tone of the place were the wast skies and the clouds moving over our heads towards the sea and Ireland. I am always mesmerized by clouds no matter what kind they are. Blue skies are lovely and beautiful, but clouds, oh my. There is nothing quite like them.

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