Low tide turns this Maine beach into a marsh. When I was six, I woke up just before sunrise to go clamming here with my grandfather. We wore black rubber boots and waterproof coats because the mist was so thick it could soak through anything. Once we got to the beach, my grandfather told me to watch out for little dribbles of seawater coming up through holes in the sand. I found the clams; he dug them out with a shovel and tossed them into a big plastic bucket. I didn’t know we were going to eat them, but that evening we made clam chowder.

I didn’t end up liking the chowder, but that disappointment wasn’t nearly enough to taint how much I enjoyed the routine of finding the clams.

I haven’t been clamming since, but if I end up on a Maine beach and can think of a reason to dig up clams without eating them, I haven’t forgotten what to look for.

— Vivienne Finch, BFR Staff

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