Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Down at the Shore

We woke this morning to find the Tobermory fishing boat Dawn Treader laying creels in Kilchoan Bay and along the Ormsaigbeg shore, accompanied by the usual hopeful seagulls.  We then....

....spent most of the morning in the vegetable garden.  This is the last of the carrot crop, although we have a few weeks' supply laid down in damp sand.  Last year this was a disaster as the carrots came out mushy and covered in a delicate white mould.  Perhaps the sand was a little too damp.

The carrots seem to do best here if they're planted in a bed which hasn't had any compost that year, so the soil in the bed we'd just harvested was badly in need to a dose of this wonderful fertilizer - seaweed from the beach below the house.

This was what made it possible for the early crofters and their predecessors in the clachans to grow so much on limited and often very poor soil - and it's all free for the taking.  These days, we seem to be one of the few families that use it.

A huge variety of different seaweeds come ashore along these beaches.  We collect them indiscriminately and chop the mixture using a pair of garden shears, which makes it much easier to dig into the soil.  The hard part is carrying two full buckets up a muddy and slippery path to the house.

We aren't the only ones who have good use for the sea's bounty.  A pair of pipits - I can't tell the difference between the various species - chirruped angrily at us while we worked.  Their interest seems to be in the various hopping beasties which inhabit the weed.

Soon after we returned to the house a small pod of dolphins came along the coast from the direction of Kilchoan Bay.  Had they passed while we were collecting the seaweed we would have had a magnificent view of them.


  1. Your dolphins were playing quite happily in the bay off Mingary castle for a while earlier in the afternoon, looked like there were four of them.


  2. Also seen from Glenborrodale area too, earlier on !