We rise early, stamping our feet against the crisp chill of early spring, and make our way to the Drumbeg estuary. The remote crofting village straddles the north west coast of Scotland in the county of Sutherland, and when the tide is low, the seabed of its inlet creek is exposed. In this fleeting early morning period, the shoreline is transformed. What is for the most part of the day a dark body of frothy water suddenly turns into a landscape made up of sandy fields mottled by sea worms, swathes of seaweed, and great slabs of ancient rock that gleam in the morning light like the humps of the area’s indigenous Minke Whales. Strewn in thick clusters on the surface of these rocks is one of the treasures of this part of the world: mussels. The protected bay is an ideal natural habitat for them. We spend the following hours meandering quietly among the rock pools, picking enough to fill our buckets, and return home just as the tide spreads like a bed sheet over the creek once more.
This blog post was originally posted on Cereal Magazine’s blog.