12/03/2007

Weekend at Assateague

We spent Saturday at Chincoteague and Assateague parks on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and Virginia. This is where the famous wild ponies are, as well as a wide assortment of shore birds and various other wildlife. It was chilly, but beautiful.

This lighthouse was originally built on the south end of the island in 1833, and was about 45 feet tall. Still, with only small oil lamps, it reached something like 15 miles out to sea. Rebuilt at triple the height in 1867 and eventually refitted with an electric light, it will now reach 22 land miles. However, it is no longer on the southernmost part of the island; storms have rebuilt and reshaped the island until the lighthouse is now more inland than on the shore, and there is a sizable southern hook that did not exist when the lighthouse was built.



Holly trees are common here.


A crane was fishing while we watched.


On the Maryland end of the island, the ponies run free and may be on the trails, roads, parking lots, or, if you're camping, in your tent. Signs everywhere warn not to touch them; they bite! Most of them look pregnant, but the visitors' center information says they are only bloated from feeding on salt marsh grasses, which they do 18 hours of every day.


This is a Delmarva Peninsula Fox Squirrel, an endangered species the Chincoteague Park is helping to re-populate.


The visitors' centers were really well-designed. I found this display particularly. . .catchy.


We walked out to an observation deck to watch the sunset over the bay.

2 comments:

Mom of two said...

Wow!! Beautiful pictures!! Looks as though you guys are having tons of fun getting to know your new town and surroudings. Thanks so much for sharing pictures, I've never been to the east coast, so it's nice to see what it's like in pictures.

@lici@ said...

Do one better, and come see us! :-)