What joy when under an impregnably grey sky we came upon a very low tide this morning! This gave us an opportunity for extra whelking with nobody about. The routine was changed today – breakfast, rest and only then to the beach, and to a different stretch, too – because the night had been bad: too hot by the fire after a brisk scouring wind; too full of memories, and disconnected dreams; too many interruptions of one kind and another. A ponderous overload. So we missed our daybreak slot, always a sadness. But what could have been disappointing turned out well. By the time we got to St Aidan’s, the wind had dropped and a long way off, crashing relentlessly towards us at a very safe distance, there was the sea, bringing the whelks in as the tide turned. You are forgiven for thinking every picture I post looks the same. But this is a big sky state, our own Montana, where what is seemingly so constant is really full of mutability. We creatures of habit thrive in the giant framework that sky, sea and sand give to our lives, while our noses – especially mine – focus on the tiny variations in shape, smell and seaweed, which change as the moon’s phases evolve, turning our life forces within each one of us. Though I am youngest, my responsibility is rewarded with freedom denied nearly always to Mr Seaweed (who cannot restrain his obsession) and frequently to Mr Sensible (who forgets he must go easy on his knee). Loner that I am, and spaniel that I feel, I dive and jest, snort and shout, raising the scent with my outstanding ears – ever attentive because of them to the whistle or the call of my name. Within what is indeed a sunless but also in effect a cloud-less landscape, where sea and sky elide, unblinking we embrace our thoughts and breath the warm air in. So much to think about today: the death of one moon, the birth of another; the death of one season and the arrival of the next; the end of one life and the beginning of another, whenever that day comes.