‘Soft sticky matter resulting from the mixing of earth and water’.
There’s a lot of mud on the North Norfolk coast and at low tide it is exposed – wet, oozy and shining. From a distance it appears to be silvery blue/grey as it reflects the light back from the sky but from close to it is actually much darker. A trip out on the boat along the creeks necessitates a cautious few steps sliding over its slippery wetness to reach the mooring and if you want to get off and walk over the marshes an athletic leap onto the marshy banks often results in muddy hands, knees and clothes. In the summer my feet are permanently stained by its rich blackness.
The mud is continually shaped by the movement of hungry tides as twice a day the water eats into the landscape simultaneously destroying and renewing.
The constant shifting of material causes objects to be endlessly buried and revealed.
With a week or so of small tides the mud above the tideline is exposed to the wind and sun. In dry weather its surface dehydrates producing cracks so deep that even repeated tides don’t penetrate it and turn it back to its usual smooth, slick state.
These intertidal mudflats are nutrient rich; they support birds and plants and insects ….
…. and I love the deep, deep shadows in the sunshine.