Ashaig beach in our village is my favourite place on earth. I’ve been exploring it’s sandy vastness, finding fossils and shells here for over 40 years and I will never tire of it. Just a stroll along the road from our house this tidal beach is stormy in winter and a shallow paddling paradise in summer.
Our dogs (and family dogs of generations now gone) dash over the style to the beach with high glee and will spends hours exploring the rocks and chasing tennis balls across the sands, and in the case of our engaging but slightly simple sprocker spaniel spend hours nosing through the seaweed that grows on the rocks, convinced that the popping sounds made by his own paws on the seaweed is a wee beastie to be chased and caught!
In the long days of last summer the beach comes alive with swimmers and sand castle builders, rounders, cricket and shinty pitches get marked out on the flat sand and Olympic competitions re-enacted on the soft sands where blankets and picnics are spread.
Last Sunday though, my daughter Kate and I (and our faithful hounds) had the entire beach to ourselves at low tide. An exceptionally low tide meant that we could explore beyond our normal boundaries. We got up close and personal with a colony of seals (all watching us curiously from the safety of the sea), we visited some favourite fossils, we found starfish, shells, beautiful purple and pink corals, and a shell that was declared to look like angels wings. We didn’t match our find of last years low tide when an entire dolphin skeleton was retreived but that didn’t seem to matter.
When I say I am lucky to live here, Ashaig beach is on my mind.
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